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Workplace Challenge Pledge

County Sports Partnership Network and the British Heart Foundation have created a 'Workplace Challenge Pledge' for businesses involved in the Workplace Challenge to demonstrate their commitment to improving the health of their employees.

By signing up, each workplace will be committing to achieve the eight point pledge listed below and will identify a Workplace Challenge Champion to promote sport and physical activity opportunities to staff. Workplace Challenge Champion training will provide Champions with all the resources, support and information required to start working towards achieving the pledge criteria.


Why Should We Sign Up?

Studies have shown that a healthier and more active workforce, are ultimately a happier and therefore more productive workforce. Staff will be aware of a key person who will help them to take part in sport and physical activity opportunities (Workplace Champion) to help achieve this goal.

It can be argued that the healthier the employee, the less likely they are to take time off work sick. According to the latest Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development research the cost of absence has increased to £666 per employee per year. The David Lloyd chain of health and fitness clubs believes being active can help with the cost of sickness absence. Its research estimates that exercise can reduce absenteeism by 23.5 percent and staff turnover can be reduced by 16 percent (Bupa 2012).

But why provide adults with opportunities for improving health at work?

-Workplace physical activity programmes can reduce absenteeism due to sickness, increase work attendance, reduce job stress and decrease healthcare utilization (1).

-Programmes which include both a physical activity and nutrition element have been found to be effective at reducing body weight, cholesterol levels and CVD risk (2).


The Pledge

1. Increase staff participation in sport and physical activity

2. Identify a Workplace Challenge Champion*

3. Promote physical activity guidelines and the benefits of a healthy and active workforce (i.e. on a staff room noticeboard)

4. Promote the Workplace Challenge and your Workplace Pledge by encourage staff to participate in the Activity Log, Competition Programme and Business Games

5. Promote and encourage active travel

6. Promote information about local activities/events and encourage staff to take part or to volunteer in sport and physical activity. The 'Get Active' page can help with programme opportunities in each area!

7. Encourage employees to be physically active during lunch breaks or immediately after work, maybe consider introducing workplace incentives?

8. Provide or work towards improving the provision of facilities that enable staff to be more active where possible i.e. installation of bike racks. (If possible/applicable for your organisation)

*What is a Workplace Challenge Champion?

1. To Support their workplace and colleagues to meet the Workplace Challenge pledge criteria

2. To be a point of contact for your County Sports Partnership regarding the Workplace Challenge and the development of workplace sport and physical activity opportunities

3. Submit an annual update/ case study regarding sport and physical activity within their workplace.

4. To consider attending networking events and training opportunities.


How Will CSPN and BHF Help?

County Sports Partnership Network (CSPN) and the British Heart Foundation (BHF) Health at Work programme are committed to supporting the Workplace Challenge Champions with updates and opportunities, both for their colleagues and also personal development opportunities for themselves.

CSPN and BHF will provide a summary of achievements to workplaces signed up to the Workplace Challenge including; their number of enrolled participants and departments, how many activity points have been achieved and the amount of CO2 saved by the staff through active travel means.

Each workplace will also receive the use of the "Workplace Challenge" logo to demonstrate that they are working to improve the health of their workforce.


References:

1. Conn VS, Hafdahl AR, Cooper PS, Brown LM, Luck SL. Meta-analysis of workplace physical activity interventions. Am J Prev Med. 2009;37(4):330-339.

2. van Dongen JM, Proper KI, van Wier MF, van der Beek AJ, Bongers PM, van Mechelen W, et al. A systematic review of the cost-effectiveness of worksite physical activity and/or nutrition programs. Scan J Work Environ Health. 2012;38(5):393-408.

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