DEDICATED Commonwealth Games Scotland employees have proved it’s not just the Team Scotland athletes smashing their fitness targets as they reveal the success of their active workplace initiative.
Pre-lockdown, all five employees were targeting over 10,000 steps a day to improve their mental and physical health to help increase productivity.
Determined to continue their active lifestyles whilst working from home, the team now motivate each other virtually via a WhatsApp group, sharing pictures of their daily walks.
The team’s active workplace initiative has gone from strength to strength after they were awarded the Walk at Work Award in late 2019 by Scotland’s National Walking Charity, Paths for All.
Jon Doig OBE, Chief Executive Officer at CGS said: “We’ve had a very positive response from all staff since receiving our Walk at Work Award and the additional support from Paths for All has been integral in our success so far.
“Prior to lockdown last March, most of us were hitting 10,000 steps a day through regular lunchtime walks or meetings on the move.
“Since home working came into place, the emphasis has been more on encouraging and reminding each other via a WhatsApp group to get the steps in whilst enjoying the nature around you. We often share photos of things we see or do on our walks.
“The initiative has been a reminder to all staff to take a break from the screen in both the work and home environment. It has practically reinforced statements in our Mental Health policy and individual action plans in particular.”
The initiative has encouraged CGS to introduce new ideas such as walking meetings to keep the workforce fit and active which they will also look to build into Team Scotland activity during the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham 2022.
As well as the Walk at Work Award, Paths for All also offer bespoke Step Count Challenges to workplaces which helps keep employees active for four or eight weeks in a fun and interactive way.
Frances Bain, Walking for Health Manager at Paths for All, said: “The workplace is where the majority of us spend a great deal of our time, whether it be at your adapted new home office or in the office during more normal times, it’s incredibly important that staff take a break from the screen and employers put wellbeing at the forefront of their mind.
“Walking is one of the simplest and best things we can do for our physical and mental health. It’s free, you don’t need any special equipment, and it can be easily incorporated into the average working day.
“Our accreditation helps businesses put their staff’s health and wellbeing at the heart of what they do whilst making exercise fun.
“The WAWA gives employers the chance to earn a recognised accreditation – with support throughout the whole process.
“We all need to play our part in helping to make the nation healthier and happier, in both a work and personal sense.”
The Walk At Work Award aims to reverse the trend of inactive workplaces and the accreditation supports businesses in tackling issues of staff wellbeing and corporate carbon footprint, while enhancing productivity.
Employers receive one-to-one support on how to create a walking culture at work as well as examples of best practice and where to find extra help and resources.
The Step Count Challenge is made up of teams of five and has one simple aim of encouraging people to walk more to feel happier and healthier, with participants having access to leader boards, goal setting and team chat to keep them motivated and connected.
Businesses can register a team of five for just £30 – and can customise their own challenges with tailored branding and personalised messaging.
Paths for All believes regular walking is key to leading a happy and healthy life, and it’s even more important for people to continue enjoying short, local walks where it is safe and appropriate to do so with the huge array of associated benefits.
Paths for All’s focus is clear: it wants to get Scotland walking: everyone, every day, everywhere.
A nationwide Step Count Challenge, which is open to all workplaces, starts on Monday, 3 May and will run for eight weeks.
For more information on Paths for All, visit: https://www.pathsforall.org.uk