GM Moving

Getting Started

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Simple steps to activity

Being active is for everyone and can be whatever you want it to be. It doesn’t matter what your shape, size, age or ability. Remember, any movement counts.

Walking, wheeling or cycling to work, to the bus stop or taking the stairs instead of the lift, all count. But, our motivations, interests and circumstances are all different. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Office activities

Bring excitement to lunchtimes with office table tennis or other easy equipment you can set up in a spare meeting room or shared space

Walking meetings

If you have a have a meeting planned take it outside, enjoy the outdoors and walk and talk at the same time

Break time walks

Get away from your desk and get outside for a quick 15 minute walk with your colleagues

10 Minute Blasts

Allow staff 10 minutes of paid time in every day to take part in physical activity

Meeting Room Activities

Have one less chair in your meeting rooms so there is always one person standing and take it in turns during the meeting or go the whole hog and have regular stand up meetings

Cycle/Walk to work day

Offer incentives to employees who choose to cycle or walk to work and promot events like Walk to Work Day or National Bike week

Recognition

Run an “Active Champion of the Month” award to celebrate colleagues who take part

Pay employees for active travelling

Encourage employees to leave the car at the office and cycle, scoot or walk to meetings and still pay mileage for these trips

Beat the boss

Everyone loves to try and beat their boss, challenge employees to beat the management team with an activity challenge

sit-stand desks

Research has shown that standing desks can reduce daily sedentary behaviour and lead to improvements in health in employees

Active soles

Allow employees to switch from formal shoes to trainers and sports shoes to encourage more movement and activity

Office running groups

You could set up a beginners running group and train staff as run leaders to make sure it is sustainable

Workplace sports teams

Set up your own workplace sports team who can take on other companies in fun competitions or set up inter department leagues

Exercise Equipment

Put a treadmill, exercise bike or step machine in a communal area allowing employees to jump on and off for quick bursts

Workplace activity classes

There are many organisations who can deliver yoga, tai chi, circuit training or Zumba sessions in your workplace

Office workouts

Do exercises when performing routine office activities like walking while on the phone or squats while waiting for printing

Office themed days

Have a schedule of regular themed days such as Table Tennis Tuesdays, Walking Wednesdays or Football Fridays

Signposting to Local links

Set up links to local sports clubs, parks or leisure facilities sites and create signposts to these activities

The Live Well Day

The infographics demonstrate how easily we can all make small changes in our daily behaviours, or ‘habit stack’ to move more every day, even when working.

It helps show how easy it can be to achieve up to 30 minutes of physical activity per day through short, sharp bursts of activities to help reduce sedentary behaviour.

It can also be utilised by those working from home, for example, by factoring in a short walk or wheel around the block at the start and end of the working day to replace the daily commute.

Commute: 5 mins 

  • Get off the bus one stop earlier
  • Park further away from work
  • Walk to the station

Use the stairs: 5 mins

  • Don’t use the lift
  • Use toilets/water fountains on a different floor

Lunchbreak: 10 mins 

  • Swap your desk for a 10 minute walk
  • Walk to the shops instead of taking your car
  • Have a quick game of table tennis

Mid-morning desk exercises: 5 mins 

  • Chair-based exercises
  • Resistance band exercises

Walking meeting: 15 mins 

  • Swap the meeting room for the great outdoors

Commute: 5 mins 

  • Head to the next nearest bus stop or train station
  • Park further away from work

With the increase in hybrid and home-based working, there is a risk of increased sedentary behaviour. It’s important that businesses respond to these challenges and continue to promote, avocate for and enable those employees who predominantly work from home to find ways to move that work for them.

The WFH Live Well Day Infographic illustrates simple ideas to remain active, and connected, whilst working from home.

The Working From Home Live Well Day

Active Travel – Walking, Wheeling, and Cycling

Active Travel is a really great way to build physical activity into daily routines. Including just a 10-minute walk, wheel, or cycle as part of the journey to and from work would mean 100 minutes of physical activity (for full-time staff) each week.

Not only does it support improved physical health in the workforce, the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) report improved concentration, improved decision making and reduced stress levels in those who actively commute.

It helps reduce the congestion on our roads and improve air quality and levels of pollution. It’s also direct, no getting stuck in traffic so you can rely on your journey time always being the same. For those staff working from home, encourage them to have a ‘fake’ commute before or after their working day to help lessen the risk of sitting for long periods of time.

What you can do?

  • Provide secure cycle parking/storage. Consider if you have any unused space not accessible to the public that could be used where staff could leave bikes.
  • Cycle to Work Schemes. These allow employees to obtain commuter bikes and cycling accessories through their employer, whilst spreading the cost over 12 months and making unbeatable savings through a tax break.
  • Payment of business mileage for cycling as an incentive. This is limited by HMRC to 20p/mile.
  • Company Pool Bikes Schemes or Bike Hire Schemes
  • Promoting Campaigns like Cycle September, national walk to work week, and GM Walking Festival in May.

Who can help?

GM Walking is a free resource for people who want to start walking/wheeling, or moving more often, and those supporting people with opportunities to walk regularly.

Head to the GM Walking website to find walking routes near you and walking groups so you can connect your employees to others who are in a similar position to them.

TfGM provide numerous information, offers and support that can benefit workplaces. These include one to one journey planning for those wanting to travel actively from and to their place of work, learn to ride courses, walking, wheeling and cycling routes and maps, information on bike hire schemes locally.

For example, The BeeNetwork, brings together buses, trams, rail but – importantly – walking, wheeling and cycling. Whether it’s the school run or a commute there’s lots of help to get your employees moving more.

TfGM have also designed a Business Travel Exhibition App to help employers support their employees to look at active travel.

Useful Website Links

How do we know it's working?

To make a strong business case for an active workplace, you’ll want to show the impact it’s had or having.

Providing evidence of success will display the return on investment you’ve gained, with a healthier, active, and less-absent team.

There are several ways that you can demonstrate the success of an active workplace with measurable achievements:

  • Staff survey – Ask if employees feel present at work, measure morale, or if staff feel that physical and mental health levels have improved. Measure changes over time.
  • Productivity – You should be able to see the productivity of your staff improve as they increase their physical activity levels.
  • Absenteeism – You may be able to see if there is a change in levels of absence after an active workplace plan has been introduced.
  • Share stories – Use a staff newsletter, email or Intranet to share how employees have improved their health as a result of being more active in work.