Physical Activity, Healthy Eating And Healthier Weight: A Toolkit For Employers

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Carlisle Brass, long time supporters of Active Cumbria’s Workplace Challenge now appear in a new toolkit for employers covering the topics of physical activity, healthy eating and healthier weight.

The toolkit developed in partnership with Public Health England is available free to download from Business in the Community who recognise that a healthier workforce can be more productive, take less time off sick and stay in employment for longer.

Following involvement in the Workplace Challenge, Carlisle Brass took part in Independent research into Workplace Challenge conducted by Loughborough University, which included case studies with six employers from across the UK.
Carlisle Brass recognised the potential of the Workplace Challenge to fit in its emerging activity culture. Initially the Challenge was introduced with our support as a small pilot, with a small and enthusiastic group from the company taking part in a national eight-week activity logging challenge. Following this the project’s champion at Carlisle Brass created a plan to engage the whole organisation and, with support from the Managing Director, identified a budget for incentive spot prizes and created an internal communication strategy. Promotion tactics included emails, printed banners and leaderboards and a focused recruitment campaign using peers and word-of-mouth to persuade colleagues, as well as giving people in departments a specific responsibility to talk to team members and sign them up. Take up has proved very positive.

The company has also taken part in occasional promotional days or events. The energy and enthusiasm behind the Challenge was harnessed for a ‘Sport Relief’ event, with the aim of having someone be active for every minute between 8am and 7pm in an activity relay. Employees were asked to use 30 minutes of their own time and the company gave them 30 minutes of work time to
get changed before and after. People then carried out whichever activity they wanted and passed the ‘baton’ to the next person.

The Challenge has been a big success for Carlisle Brass. It has appealed to managers as it allows flexibility for people to be active on their own or as part of a group, while still bringing them together under a common cause. Above all, they like it because it is easy to use. Carlisle Brass has recognised various benefits of the programme, notably on rates of absenteeism, and the plan now is to roll the programme out through the rest of the group. The Challenge also looks like to have a lasting legacy, with a range of sustainable activities now established including running and cycling clubs.

“Now we’re including the Workplace Challenge in our health and safety committee so that goes into our communication structure and is discussed by the group. We’ve got leaderboards in canteens and it changes every week about who’s doing what, so people get regular feedback. We’re investing in this and we want employees to engage and give us ideas about what we can do to improve.” Angus Brass, Director of Product Management

On the 15th March Active Cumbria will be talking to 220 delegates at Carlisle Ambassadors about an active approach to workforce productivity.