How active should I be?

How active should people be? Creating changes in your workplace can seem like a huge task. Thankfully, a few small steps is all that’s needed to make a big difference

The Chief Medical Officer recommends we should be moderately active for 150 minutes each week. This equates to 30 minutes of activity each working day. However, currently, 33% of the Greater Manchester workforce do not meet these recommendations. This is a great concern.

Moderate activity means that your heart and breathing rates are increased. For example, if you’re out on a walk with friends on your lunch break, you should just about be able to hold a conversation and be slightly out of breath.

As our region spend 60% of our waking hours at work, you as employers have a huge role to play in enabling employees to be active both in and out of work. If 15 of the required 30 minutes of activity each day could be completed in the workplace, Greater Manchester would be a much healthier place.

At GreaterSport, we know that active workplaces is all about simple steps to help your colleagues move more. Start with small targets, such as just 10 minutes of activity three or four times a week, and we’ll begin to see positive changes.

150 Minutes

Motivators and Barriers

Overcoming the barriers to physical activity can be a challenge. A busy family life and the struggle to find an enjoyable sport are two commonly cited reasons for inactivity. However, enabling your employees to be active during the working day can result in increased activity both in and out of work.

At GreaterSport, we’re here to help you break down barriers to activity in the workplace. An active workplace culture, and leading by example to encourage more movement, are two great starting points. They support employees to form active habits that help them to make a lifestyle choice that improves health and productivity both in and out of the workplace.

People take up activity for a variety of reasons. Using these motivations, and being aware of the barriers, will help employees to make the right new habits. We can support you with this when you develop your active workplace plan.

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MOTIVATIONS

Personal Health
Lose Weight
Get Fit
Reduce Stress
Enjoyment & Socialising
Improve Confidence

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BARRIERS

Work Commitments
Time
Workplace Culture
Home & Family Life

Dislike of Sport
Bad Experience/No Confidence

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Effective Messaging

Motivation for activity is unique. The reason why someone is active, or inactive, is entirely personal and varied from person to person. That’s why, at GreaterSport, we promote a wide range of initiatives. Each one is different, and suited to each and every individual.

As an employer, you’ll have great insight into what works best for your team. Think about individual and team needs, workplace interests, the working environment, and even policies and practices. All of these can give you excellent ideas of how we can work together to get your employees moving.

The ideas below are a great starting point.

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WHAT WORKS

Being active helps with:
Sleep
Mood
Confidence
Reducing Stress
Feeling Good

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WHAT DOESN’T

Negative messages such as:

Lecturing
Preaching about activity
The risks of being inactive

Simple steps to activity

Being active is whatever you want it to be. Use simple steps to become active, it’s not about running a marathon, being active is for everyone. It doesn’t matter what your shape, size, age or ability. It’s likely that you are already being active but just don’t know it. Walking to work or the bus stop or taking the stairs instead of the lift all count.

Office activities

Bring excitement to lunchtimes with office table tennis or other easy equipment you can set up in a spare meeting room or shared space

Break time walks

Get away from your desk and get outside for a quick 15 minute walk with your colleagues

Meeting Room Activities

Have one less chair in your meeting rooms so there is always one person standing and take it in turns during the meeting or go the whole hog and have regular stand up meetings

Recognition

Run an “Active Champion of the Month” award to celebrate colleagues who take part

Beat the boss

Everyone loves to try and beat their boss, challenge employees to beat the management team with an activity challenge

Active soles

Allow employees to switch from formal shoes to trainers and sports shoes to encourage more movement and activity

Workplace sports teams

Set up your own workplace sports team who can take on other companies in fun competitions or set up inter department leagues

Workplace activity classes

There are many organisations who can deliver yoga, tai chi, circuit training or Zumba sessions in your workplace

Office themed days

Have a schedule of regular themed days such as Table Tennis Tuesdays, Walking Wednesdays or Football Fridays

Walking meetings

If you have a have a meeting planned take it outside, enjoy the outdoors and walk and talk at the same time

10 MINUTE BLASTS

Allow staff 10 minutes of paid time in every day to take part in physical activity

CYCLE/Walk to work day

Offer incentives to employees who choose to cycle or walk to work and promot events like Walk to Work Day or National Bike week

Pay employees for active travelling to meetings

Encourage employees to leave the car at the office and cycle, scoot or walk to meetings and still pay mileage for these trips

sit-stand desks

Research has shown that standing desks can reduce daily sedentary behaviour and lead to improvements in health in employees

Office running groups

You could set up a beginners running group and train staff as run leaders to make sure it is sustainable

Exercise Equipment

Put a treadmill, exercise bike or step machine in a communal area allowing employees to jump on and off for quick bursts

Office workouts

Do exercises when performing routine office activities like walking while on the phone or squats while waiting for printing

Signposting to Local links

Set up links to local sports clubs, parks or leisure facilities sites and create signposts to these activities

The Live Well Day

  • Easily achieve 30 minutes of physical activity per day
  • Short sharp bursts of activities - reduce sedentary behaviour
  • For a Working from Home version of The Live Well Day Click Here
commute

Commute: 5 mins / 30 cals

  • Get off the bus one stop earlier
  • Park further away from work
  • Walk to the station
stairs

Use the stairs: 5 mins / 100 cals

  • Don’t use the lift
  • Use toilets/water fountains on a different floor
vertical-line

Lunchbreak: 10 mins / 60 cals

  • Swap your desk for a 10 minute walk
  • Walk to the shops instead of taking your car
  • Have a quick game of table tennis
walking-meeting
horizontal-line

Mid-morning desk exercises: 5 mins / 50 cals

  • Chair based exercises
  • Resistance band exercises
desk-exercise

Walking meeting: 15 mins / 90 cals

  • Swap the meeting room for the great outdoors
man-commute

Commute: 5 mins / 30 cals

  • Head to the next nearest bus stop or train station
  • Park further away from work

Workshops to support workplace health and wellbeing

GreaterSport along with our trusted partners will be running a series of workshops to support workplace health and wellbeing. As well as events on being an Active Workplace you can expect sessions on the psychology of work and support for employers as the world starts to get back to normal after the Covid-19 Pandemic.

Workplace physical activity champions

In partnership with Workplace Movement
19

Wednesday 18th August
12 - 1pm -
Wednesday 17th November
12 - 1pm - book here

Workshop Description
An interactive workshop suitable for any staff member who would like to take on the role of physical activity champion. The session will provide information, advice and guidance on how to create an active workplace culture and drive engagement in physical activity in the workplace.

  • The role of activity champions
  • Physical activity guidelines
  • Workplace guidelines
  • Health and business benefits of being active
  • Behaviour change
  • Activity into the working day
  • Events and campaigns
  • Signposting
  • Tips
  • Workshop Format

  • Suitable for all staff - recommended for those with a passion for being active and helping others
  • 1.5 hour virtual session - we recommend delegates have already attended Physical Activity in the Workplace and Physical Activity for Good Mental Health courses.
  • For up to 10 delegates per session
  • Creating & maintaining high performance

    In partnership with Malleable Minds
    14

    Tuesday 21st September
    10.00am - 11.30am - book here

    Workshop Description
    Building personal & team high performance and cultures based on psychological safety.
    In this workshop we’ll explore the psychology of high performance. We’ll look at the principles that help to support individual performance, so that we can map out a path forward, building skills to support our own and others performance, but we’ll also explore how to build environments and workplace cultures that provide the platform for ourselves and others to continuously perform.

    Exploring the concept of psychological safety, we’ll examine why this is such a critical component in managing psychological defensiveness out of the room, and how not taking these steps could hamper high performance.

    We’ll look at practical approaches to building psychological safety and high performance so that we can each move forward in a sustained way.

    Workshop Format

  • Suitable for all staff
  • 90-Minute virtual training
  • Physical activity in the workplace

    In partnership with Workplace Movement
    8

    Wednesday 22nd September
    12 - 1pm - book here

    Workshop Description
    An interactive workshop suitable for all staff members, providing information, advice and guidance on physical activity in the workplace. The aim of the session is to help delegates understand how being active supports good health and how to build activity into the working day.

  • Physical Activity Quiz
  • Physical activity and health
  • Impact of sedentary behaviour
  • Barriers to being active
  • Active lifestyle
  • Being active at work
  • Signposting
  • Tips

  • Workshop format

  • Suitable for all staff
  • 1-hour virtual training
  • For up to 15 delegates per session
  • The link between nutrition and mental health

    In partnership with The Business Health Group
    food

    Wednesday 29th September
    11am - 12pm - book here

    Workshop Description
    With lots of great conversations being had around the benefits of physical activity on mental health
    is it time we also took a look at perhaps the lesser known benefits (and negative impacts) of our
    nutrition.
    Gain an understanding of the impact our nutrition has on our mental health as well as practical tools and modified thought processes around the foods that we eat.

  • Stop 'dieting'
  • The gut/brain connection
  • Understanding calories
  • Energy balance
  • Is there any such thing as 'good' and 'bad' foods
  • How to stop feeling like a failure

  • Workshop Format

  • Suitable for all staff
  • 1-hour virtual training
  • How to do physical activity and never exercise again.... sort of

    In partnership with The Business Health Group
    Movement-3

    Wednesday 13th October
    11am - 12pm - book here

    Workshop Description
    The challenges of the last 18 months/2 years have seen our physical activity levels drop considerably. With working from home, home schooling and other lockdown measures to navigate dedicated exercise became a second thought for many.
    But what if we told you that you could still have the benefits that exercise can bring without the need to exercise again. Tune in to find out how.

  • The importance of Physical Activity
  • An introduction to NEAT
  • The value of 'non exercise' activity
  • How to accumulate more 'non exercise' activity
  • How much activity is enough
  • Where dedicated exercise fits in

  • Workshop Format

  • Suitable for all staff
  • 1-hour virtual training
  • Physical activity for good mental health

    In partnership with Workplace Movement
    9

    Wednesday 20th October
    12 - 1pm - book here

    Workshop Description
    An interactive workshop suitable for all staff members, providing information, advice and guidance on physical activity, mental health and wellbeing. The aim of the session is to help delegates understand how to build physical activity into the working day as a practical way to improve wellbeing and maintain good mental health. The workshop includes:

  • Mental health and physical activity quiz
  • What is mental health, discussion
  • Stress
  • Mental Health benefits of exercise
  • Five ways to wellbeing
  • Being active at work
  • Signposting
  • Tips

  • Workshop Format

  • Suitable for all staff
  • 1-hour virtual training
  • For up to 15 delegates per session
  • Habit or leave it: The science of habit formation & management

    In partnership with Malleable Minds
    2

    Tuesday 26th October
    10.00am - 11.30am - book here

    Workshop Description
    How do we form habits. Are they always formed consciously or can it happen unconsciously too?

    What happens when our environment changes around us and how does this impact how we behave and the habits we form?

    In this workshop we’ll look at what evidence based psychology tells us about what habits are; how they form an how we use this science to understand our own behaviour and to change and mould our habits in a way that serves to support our high performance.

    The last 18 months has resulted in scenarios where our practices and habits have been at least impacted if not shifted and changed.

    We’ll explore what the impact of the enforced changes we’ve been through have been and what this means for moving into the next period of time.

    Exploring work and workplaces, we’ll see how our habitual behaviour may have changed and what we may need to do to support our ability to flex into the changes that will come about as we move out of full lockdown and working practices change and shift again.

    Workshop Format

  • Suitable for all staff
  • 90-Minute virtual training
  • Surviving Desk Posture- The Truth Behind ‘Perfect’ Postur

    In partnership with The Business Health Group
    Movement-55

    Wednesday 3rd November
    11.00am - 12.00pm -

    Workshop Description
    With so many of us spending 10hrs+ per day in a seated position you’d imagine how we sit for that time is pretty important, after all it is said that sitting is the new smoking.

    The events of the last 18months have caused us to adapt to working from home with less than ideal workstation set-ups, causing a whole host of postural aches and pains but with many of us either remaining at home or moving to a more hybrid working model could these all be avoidable with some simple tips and tweaks.

    Session Outcomes

    · A look into the myths around posture

    · Discussing 'optimal posture'

    · What is the optimal workstation set up

    · Structuring your day to support your posture

    · Desk survival exercises

    Workshop Format

  • Suitable for all staff
  • 60-Minute virtual training
  • Sleep...The Unsung Hero

    In partnership with The Business Health Group
    Eight-Tips-to-Help-You-Get-to-Sleep-Faster-copy

    Wednesday 10th November
    11.00am - 12.00pm-

    Workshop Description
    Sleep alongside exercise and nutrition is one of the 3 pillars to a happy, healthy life, but with 1 in 3 of us experiencing regular poor sleep is there more we could be doing make sure we get a good nights kip.

    We can all get away with a few late nights or early mornings here and there but regular poor sleep puts us all at greater risk of serious health conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. Tune in to this workshop to discover how the key to a better night’s sleep actually begins the moment you wake in the morning.

    Session Outcomes

    · An introduction to the importance of sleep

    · Recognising the signs and symptoms of poor sleep

    · The benefits of good sleep v consequences of poor sleep

    · A closer look at the sleep/wake cycle

    · How to improve sleep hygiene

    Workshop Format

  • Suitable for all staff
  • 60-Minute virtual training
  • Getting the best out of ourselves: Supporting our wellbeing and resilience

    In partnership with Malleable Minds
    1

    Tuesday 23rd November
    10.00am - 11.30am - book here

    Workshop Description
    Stress and anxiety are normal parts of how we think, feel and behave; and how we interact with the world. But that doesn’t mean that experiencing stress and anxiety is comfortable.

    In fact, it’s deeply uncomfortable and a very unpleasant experience and it’s intended to be this way. It’s actually our system activating to promote us into action.

    In this workshop we’ll explore what might cause us stress and anxiety and how we can use techniques from evidence-based psychology to understand our reactions to the world around us and to manage our system in a way that supports resilience. This is even more important against the backdrop of the pandemic which has created circumstances where stress and anxiety have been heightened.

    We’ll look at what has happened over the last 18 months and how this may have impacted us and those around us and most importantly what we can do to get the outcomes that we want and manage any stress and anxiety responses.

    Workshop Format

  • Suitable for all staff
  • 90-Minute virtual training
  • Moving forward together: Creating team cohesion around new models of work

    In partnership with Malleable Minds
    4

    Tuesday 7th December
    10.00am - 11.30am book here

    Workshop Description
    In this workshop we’ll explore the science of perceptions and perspective taking. Creating the environment for team cohesion and high performance to flourish means being able to both understand but then manage differing perceptions and perspectives.

    As we move out of the pandemic we’ll examine what we can do to both understand and take account of the differing perspectives there will be about what work looks like; what hybrid working means to different people and how we can find an agreed and meaningful way forward without getting paralysed by analysis or consultation.

    We’ll build skills around key leadership and communication approaches to ensure that we lay the foundation for team cohesion.

    Workshop Format

  • Suitable for all staff
  • 90-Minute virtual training
  • If you'd like to run any of these workshops exclusively for your own organisation's employees please contact johnb@greatersport.co.uk.

    Active Champion Workshops

    DBG2

    Introducing an active workplace plan can seem like a huge task. Employers are often put off: how will they fit the plan into their schedule? Can they manage it alone?

    At GreaterSport, we alleviate this worry by offering Active Champions Workshops in the workplace. Active Champions are employees you can choose to lead physical activity in your workplace. They help you by delivering the active workplace plans and support their colleagues to increase their activity levels.

    Our training offers the following:

    • An introduction to Greater Manchester Moving, and national and local strategies for workplace wellbeing.
    • Understanding your colleagues. We know not all your employees will be keen to get involved in activity. Together, we’ll look at how we can address this.
    • Benefits of an active workplace: why should you promote an active workplace? What are the benefits for employers and employees?
    • Signposting to best practice active workplaces across Greater Manchester, as well as other local and national support networks. We’ll introduce you to partners who can help with overall healthy workplaces and active travel solutions.
    • What next for your workplace: what are the active workplace tips and takeaways? What are your next steps?

    Encouraging people to move more is our main focus. However, we do look at mental wellbeing and work with partners who can offer you more in-depth support.

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    “Physical inactivity is an issue across the GM region, and can have negative impacts on physical and mental health. We’re committed to improving the wellbeing of our staff, and the Active Champions Workshop was a great way to achieve this. All physical activity counts from taking the stairs rather than the lift, to a quick lunchtime walk. We’re already starting to see positive changes in our sites.”

    Adam Cunnane - District External Relations & Wellbeing Lead North West Region
    Department for Work & Pensions 

    For more information on GreaterSport's Active Champion Workshops contact:

    John Brady
    Strategic Lead - Active Adults
    Mobile: 07841 776470
    Email: johnb@greatersport.co.uk