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Encouraging an Active Healthy Workforce

The Government’s Department of Health advises that one in four of us will experience mental ill health at some point in our lives.

Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.

A recent Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development study found that, for the first time, stress is the major cause of long-term absence in manual and non-manual workers.

1 in 6.8 people are experience mental health problems in the workplace (14.7%).

  • Women in full-time employment are nearly twice as likely to have a common mental health problem as full-time employed men (19.8% vs 10.9%).
  • Evidence suggests that 12.7% of all sickness absence days in the UK can be attributed to mental health conditions.
  • Mental ill health costs employers in the UK £30 billion every year through lost production, recruitment and absence.

Promoting positive mental health in the workplace can therefore be hugely beneficial. Staff with good mental health are more likely to perform well, have good attendance levels and be engaged in their work.

Additionally, taking steps to better support the mental health of staff can help to reduce the severity, duration and quantity of mental ill health in the workplace.

The mental health benefits of physical activity

Everyone knows that regular exercise is great for your physical health and fitness, but evidence also shows that being physically active is also one of the most effective ways to improve your mental wellbeing. Regular exercise can have a profoundly positive impact on mood, depression, anxiety and more.

Scientists believe that physical activity can help people with mild depression. Evidence shows that it can also help protect people against anxiety. Physical activity is thought to cause chemical changes in the brain, which can help to positively change our mood. They also believe that being active can improve wellbeing because it brings about a sense of greater self- esteem, self-control and the ability to rise to a challenge.

Promoting physical activity in the workplace

Workplace physical activity programmes that foster a happier, healthier and more motivated team, have a positive impact on productivity, increase work attendance, reduce job stress and pave the way for greater employee retention and engagement.

Workplace Virtuathon running, cycling and triathlon challenges are great fun and can raise vital funds for an organisations’ chosen charity. They’re designed to maximise employee participation, especially beginners and the less active, and encourage positive lifestyle choices that help reduce stress and increase motivation.

A virtual challenge is simply an event that can be completed at any location on a given day – employees can run outside or on a treadmill, individually or together, they can even walk providing they complete the distance.

Comprehensive, easy-to-follow training for beginners is included to help employees of mixed physical ability better prepare for their virtual challenge event. Workplace Virtual Runathon, Bikeathon and Triathlon training programmes, consisting of physical activity training, nutrition advice, mindset education, employee wellbeing from Health@Work and daily motivation is conveniently delivered into the Get Event Fit app to guide, inspire and motivate employees everyday throughout their challenge training journey, for up to 10 weeks.  Employees are rewarded with a Virtuathon finishers medal for all their hard work.

Inspire a healthier, happier and motivated workforce in 2018 by delivering your own Workplace Virtuathon. Visit


Written by Gather

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