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Businesses urged to take action on obesity rise

Businesses urged to take action on obesity rise

With obesity on the rise, coupled with a recent study by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) revealing that only 28 per cent of employees receive advice from their employers on health and wellbeing issues; coordinators of the Workplace Challenge are calling business leaders across the country to take action.

Employers are being encouraged to sign up to the campaign, run by the County Sports Partnership Network (CSP network) in collaboration with the British Heart Foundation Health at Work programme.

Workplace Challenge provides workers with the opportunity to use a free online activity logger to keep track of all their physical activity and active travel.

The idea behind the platform – which has already proved a success in pilot areas across the country – is to encourage workers to be more active and make exercise a part of their daily routine.

The Workplace Challenge invites workers to log their activity in reward for points for their place of work. They will also get the chance to go head to head with their other local businesses and even take part in inter-workplace competitions and leagues.

John Clough, Director of Suffolk Sport said

"It is more important than ever that employers take an active role in encouraging staff to lead more active lifestyles.

"Employers can really support their employees in achieving their New Year's resolutions in 2014. The Workplace Challenge platform is free to use, allowing team leaders to track and support their colleague with motivational challenges. Healthier workforces, lead to healthier businesses - the benefits are substantial.

"I would love to see every business in this country using the Workplace Challenge platform, with employers actively encouraging their staff to lead more active lifestyles.

"Not only would this have a direct impact on obesity levels in the country but also on the level of employer engagement and wellbeing within the workplace."

Lee Mason, Chief Executive of the County Sports Partnership Network (CSP Network), said:

"The CSP Network are very proud to have launched the Workplace Challenge platform. We believe that the success of the platform will be driven by our local County Sports Partnership teams, who will be ensuring that in parallel to the ability for people to track their activity online, that there are a diverse range of activities available to go and try, compete in and enjoy offline.

"We hope to not only grow participation in Sport but radically reduce the effects that inactivity have within local communities. It is essential that businesses take a lead in encouraging their staff to be active and we see the workplace environment as key in leveraging the 'power of the peer' to get people active."

Organisers hope that workplaces will get involved by organising sport orientated team days out or by launching a walk to work or lunch walking scheme; employers will directly benefit from a healthy and revitalised team of staff who are active both in and outside of work.

There will also be a number of opportunities available for businesses to sponsor and support community workplace challenges. Visit www.workplacechallenge.org.uk/suffolk for more info.

Article by Active Suffolk

Suffolk Sport is one of 49 County Sports Partnerships across England. Working with a wide-range of local partners, our aim is to make Suffolk a physically active and successful sporting county. Our role is to co-ordinate sport and activity programmes in Suffolk and support the development of clubs, coaches and volunteers in the County. We are committed to getting more people in Suffolk playing sport and being active and providing everyone with the opportunity to achieve their sporting goals.