Campaign for Sedentary Office Workers launched

Workplace Challenge campaign encourages Birmingham workers to liven up their lunch break with bite size activity.

An eight-week activity challenge launches in the New Year, designed to encourage more people in Birmingham to introduce ten minute ‘bite size’ chunks of activity in and around their working day to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Run by Sport Birmingham in the city, the Active Lunch Challenge, which runs from 4th January until 28th February, will be providing individuals with exciting examples and opportunities to get active and log their activity online – from office aerobics to company-wide congas.

It’s all part of Workplace Challenge, the national workplace health programme, aimed at supporting and promoting physical activity in and around the workplace. An estimated 40 per cent of people do not exercise enough, according to Public Health England, and research conducted by Workplace Challenge partners, the British Heart Foundation National Centre for Physical Activity and Health, shows that time is the biggest barrier to sport and activity.

By encouraging participation during the lightest and brightest part of the day, the eight-week Active Lunch Challenge will also support mental health, helping to tackle Seasonal Affective Disorder. NHS guidelines state that getting plenty of regular exercise, particularly outdoors and in daylight, can help to improve symptoms of SAD.

Mike Chamberlain, Chief Executive for Sport Birmingham, said: “It’s so important that more people introduce physical activity into and around their working day, but the perception for many is that it’s just too difficult achieve.

“In fact, small steps can make a real difference. We want local people to get away from their desks, get off the shop floor and get out of the factory – it doesn’t matter what they do, the most important thing is that they take steps to change their normal routine over the next eight weeks by introducing some form of physical activity.”

Sport Birmingham will be working with local employers to host events, provide inspiration and encourage teams to get involved over the next eight weeks and beyond.

Birmingham 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).

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