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MAKING SMALL STEPS: FIVE REASONS TO GET INVOLVED

Posted: Wed, 04 Jan 2017 09:14

Christmas is over, the festive feasting has ended and it's time to start exercising again. Well, that's what all the gym adverts tell us anyway.

Don't worry, you're not the only one thinking 'how on earth will I find the time?' We all lead busy lives and when we spend so much of our time at work, it can be difficult to make time for physical activity.

That's why Workplace Challenge urges employers to give their workers the encouragement and flexibility to bring exercise into and around their working day. And the easiest way to do that is in bite size chunks.

Our Active Lunch Challenge started on January 4th and we want more people to introduce ten minute 'bite size' chunks of activity in and around their working day to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

You can read more about the eight week campaign here, but before you do that here are five good reasons to get involved:

1. Bite size is best

Guidelines from the Chief Medical Officer state that we should all do 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise every week. It sounds a lot at first, but what if we said three short ten minute activities every day you're at work?

Bite size chunks of physical activity are easier to fit into and around your working day and can be less daunting if you're not a seasoned athlete. But stack them up throughout the week and you will soon reach the recommended activity levels. There is even evidence to say that short bursts of exercise are just as good for you as continued exercise.

2. Do it together, do it better

What better way to introduce physical activity into your life than having a good time with your friends and colleagues? We're not suggesting you have to go on a team jog every lunch, you could do Zumba in the boardroom or lift weights with some box files, even do a Conga in the corridors if you want to. The most important thing is that you will motivate each other to make a difference. Research shows that you are more likely to see exercise as 'normal' if your peers and friends are active tooand physical activity is also shown to be more enjoyable when completed with friends, family or colleagues.

3. You can track your progress

Sign up to the Workplace Challenge Active Lunch campaign and you can log your activity quickly and easily throughout the eight weeks and beyond.

You can compare activity levels against your colleagues and see a variety of stats including distance travelled, calories burned and CO2 saved. You can even track your progress against the recommended 150 minutes of physical activity per week and check your position on local and national leaderboards.

4. It can improve your performance at work

Millions of us don't do enough exercise and it can affect more than our health; it can contribute to sickness absence and reduced productivity too.

Take this opportunity to help introduce bite size chunks of physical activity into and around your working day and you could find it improves your performance, improves motivation and increases your output. Exercise can even make you happier, smarter and can reduce stress. It's a win-win situation.

5. It's free!

Best of all, it's quick, easy and free for you to register. No expensive gym membership needed, no need to find money for spinning classes - you don't even need to buy a new running outfit if you don't want to. Simply sign-up at www.workplacechallenge.org.uk and start logging your activity, whether it's walking up the stairs at work or having a dance while the kettle's boiling.

Looking for some inspiration? Keep checking for our next blog coming soon, which will be packed with ideas of bite size activities you can complete at work.

Tags: CSPN, Challenge, Sport England, Logging, Launch, Business

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