A government-funded pilot scheme has found that employers can make significant improvements to the health of their staff.
The Well@Work programme, run by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) and funded by the Department of Health, Sport England and the Big Lottery Fund, announced results yesterday.
The programme tested initiatives such as pedometer challenges, health checks and fruit giveaways.
Key findings included:
- Those taking part in the pedometer challenges increased their weekly step counts by one-third
- People taking part in active travel schemes spent on average an extra 24 minutes walking or cycling to and from work
- Use of the workplace stairs increased by 28% following initiatives such as encouraging posters and redecorating stairwells
- Participants increased their intake of fruit and vegetables, with an extra 11% meeting their five-a-day requirement
Nicki Cooper, head of heart health at the BHF, said: “We spend 60% of our day with colleagues, so they can provide great support in getting us to swap that chocolate cake for a piece of fruit, or to walk home instead of driving.”
Dame Carol Black, national director for health and work added: “I’m encouraged to see pilots like this. Employers have a crucial role to play if we are to make wellness at work a reality for all, not a privilege for the few.”