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14 Jul 2017

Businesses across the Black Country are being urged to go head-to-head against their competitors as a workplace health initiative is launched


Companies and organisations in the Black Country are being invited to take part in the ‘Workplace Challenge’ programme that is being rolled out by Active Black Country.

The one-of-a-kind initiative will see employees battle it out to win points for their company or organisation by taking part in sport and physical activity. The company with the highest number of points earned will clinch the Active Black Country title of the sportiest workplace in the Black Country.

The free to join online programme is now available and is being rolled out to encourage the Black Country’s business community to lead more active lifestyles.

The platform, which has received funding support from Sport England and is supported by the British Heart Foundation's Health at Work programme, is built on the growing trend for digital sharing. The platform enables people to track their activity calculated a fuel saving and even see how much carbon dioxide they have helped to save by walking or cycling to work. Similar to a 'Like' on Facebook, people can also 'High Five' their colleagues for doing well.

Physical inactivity has been linked to an increased risk of a range of health conditions and evidence shows that undertaking physical activity can help maintain and promote both physical and mental health & wellbeing. Employees can spend up to 60% of their waking hours at work therefore it is vital that the workplace plays an active role in encouraging individuals to improve their health and wellbeing and be physically active.

Research demonstrates that physical activity can benefit an organisation as individuals who are physically active are healthier, take less time off sick and are more productive within the workplace. By encouraging employees to be physically active during the working day businesses can benefit from reduced absenteeism, improved staff morale and reduced staff turnover. Research shows that physically activity programmes can reduce absenteeism by up to 20% and physical active employees are 27% less likely to take time off work due to sickness. (National Institute for Health & Clinical Excellence Physical Activity Local Government Briefing 2012.).

Deborah Williams, Chair of Active Black Country said:

The Board is delighted that Active Black Country is rolling out the Workplace Challenge initiative. We would love to see the Black Country business community take on the challenge and in turn encourage their staff to lead more active lifestyles. They can do this through taking part in sport activities before, during or after the working day and across all sporting disciplines. Activities like walking to work are even factored into the mix.”

Active Black Country will be working with local employers to host events, provide inspiration and encourage teams to get involved.

Ian Carey, Head of Physical Activity and Sport for Active Black Country said:

Sport has always had the power to bring people together in a fun, friendly and competitive environment. And I believe if businesses embrace the Workplace Challenge in the Black Country they will reap the undoubted economic, health and wellbeing benefits for their businesses and staff “

Black Country employees can sign up for Workplace Challenge for free, where they can log activity and compete against others in company-wide, local and national challenges.

Employers have the option to sign up their entire organisation and access additional functionality and CSP support through the programme’s Business Registration, costing £150 (+VAT).

For more details, visit www.workplacechallenge.org.uk/blackcountry

ENDS


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