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Staff Blog

The Active Norfolk staff perspective

Improving Workplace Health Through our Sports Competitions

Posted: Mon, 30 Apr 2018 15:10 by Steven Hitcham

Improving Workplace Health Through our Sports Competitions

The majority of us spend a lot of our adult life at work. On average, we spend over 10 years solid earning money and that figure is likely to grow as more people are having 2nd jobs and also work beyond 65 years old.

This shows the importance that we should be happy and healthy in our jobs.

In 2016/2017, in the UK there were 31.2 million working days lost due to work-related ill health and non-fatal workplace injuries. The most common causes were stress, depression and anxiety. Therefore, there are things that can be done to lift the pressures and improve the well-being of employees.

Our Active Workplaces project includes running 2 sports-based competitions each month where workplaces can enter a team to compete against each other in a friendly environment. We try and put an adaptive version to some sports to attract new people. For example, we've done Killer Tennis, Team Table Tennis, Team Badminton amongst others.

Most competitions are mixed with the occasional This Girl Can or Male-only events. We then promote an exit route for those wanting to take part further in the particular sport.

In the past 12 months over 1,000 participants have taken part in our Active Workplaces competitions. This is significant when you work out the amount of hours employees are spending socialising outside of work. 22% of those who have taken part currently do 30 minutes or less of physical activity per week. The national guidelines are 150 minutes per week.

On Thursday evening we had a Men's 5-a-side Football Cup taking place at The FDC @ Open. 95 men were taking part across 14 teams throughout the evening.

I had a chat with Stephen Smith of ReAssure, one of the workplaces taking part and he said "The Active Workplaces competitions gives us the opportunity to socialise and get to know each other better outside of work. We have a sedentary office job so being able to be more active with my colleagues is good both physically and mentally".

You can enter our Active Workplaces competitions here.

Tags: Workplace Health