Greater Manchester’s employees spend a minimum of 60% of their waking hours at work. For many people, that means over 50% of their day is spent inactive.
With more than half of waking hours spent in the workplace, it’s essential employers understand why high inactivity levels at work can be hugely problematic. Not only do inactive staff have an increased risk of health problems, they also have reduced workplace productivity.
Thankfully, an increasing number of employers are seeing the benefits of a physically active workforce. At GreaterSport, we know why staff need to get moving more and we have some great ideas and offers of ways to support employers.
We have created the Active Workplace Toolkit, a free, one stop shop to help you get your workplace moving more. With information ranging from explaining the business case for physically active employees, ways to embed activity within the working day and success stories from other organisations across Greater Manchester.
We know there are many ways an active lifestyle is beneficial. Being active supports both your physical and mental wellbeing, reducing health problems and decreasing stress levels. However, for many of Greater Manchester’s workforce, the working day involves limited physical activity.
This inactivity is a real cause for concern.
Currently, 22.5% of people in work in Greater Manchester are inactive. 10.4% are fairly active and 67.1% are active. Whilst this may seem promising, our research to date reveals that 1.5% of Greater Manchester’s working days are lost, per year, to sickness and absence. The estimated annual cost of statutory sick pay for employers in our region is £90m.
At GreaterSport, we know this can change. In fact, just 90 minutes of activity per week in the workplace can translate to increased earnings of 7.5%. And, with physically active employees taking 27% less sick days than those who are inactive, the financial benefits of workplace activity for employers are huge.
With our region’s employees spending 60%, or more, of their waking day at work, it’s essential that we support workplaces to become more active. We already have some great ideas in action. But we need your help to deliver them in your workplace.
Firstly, by working together, we’ll see if your findings reflect our own figures. Then, by implementing physical activity in your workplace, we’ll see what the impact is. Once we have those statistics, we’ll get a really clear picture of Greater Manchester’s workplace inactivity, and how to change it.
Working with you, we’ll then offer training to workplaces to promote activity. This can be done with Active Workplace Champions, mental wellbeing support teams and service providers. This will help us all understand the benefits of an Active Workplace, the challenges faced across a range of employees, and how your workplace can be part of getting Greater Manchester moving.