Workplace colleagues key to New Year resolution success says CSP Network
National health programme, Workplace Challenge, is embracing the new year, new you spirit and today launching its ‘My Team 2015’ eight week challenge, combining thoroughly modern internet and smartphone technology with good old-fashioned workplace camaraderie to help exercisers resist the urge to quit their healthy resolutions in 2015.
On 5th January, as workers across the country return back to work after the festive break, Workplace Challenge’s electronic leaderboards go live on www.workplace challenge.org.uk. This marks the start of eight weeks of activity-fuelled competition between colleagues and workplaces as workforces come together to battle it out for the top slot on the new ‘My Team 2015’ leaderboard (to be announced on 2nd March 2015).
Last month, the Department of Health set out its ambition to use digital technology and innovation to revolutionise how individuals manage their own health and wellbeing. ‘My Team 2015’ embraces this vision by using technology to not only track individual physical activity and measure progress against personal health goals but also to create a vital social support network for users that will boost motivation and keep workers exercising well beyond the mid-January resolution lull.
Participants in ‘My Team 2015’ are encouraged to use Workplace Challenge’s online activity logger to record all their physical activity alongside friends, colleagues and other workplaces. This activity is then translated into a score, allowing participants to not only track their personal progress over time (for example, there’s a tool to measure achievement of the milestone of 150 minutes of exercise per week) but also to compare themselves to others.
Embracing this more social aspect of exercise is an integral part of the ethos of ‘My Team 2015’. Exercising alone, in isolation, can be uninspiring. Peer support and the opportunity for social interaction and competition can massively boost even the most reluctant exerciser’s inclination to participate. But regularly fitting in attendance at formal clubs around work commitments can be challenging. Workplace Challenge’s internet and smartphone based platforms allow colleagues to embrace the benefits of camaraderie by allowing them to virtually share goals and achievements and congratulate each other on successes and nominate colleagues (and rivals) to join them by using new social functionalities such as 'refer a friend'. In addition, participants are encouraged to throw themselves into the social spirit of the challenge by sharing their team goals (and nominations) on Twitter and Facebook using #MyTeam2015.
However, the ambitions for 'My Team 2015' go far beyond simply supporting New Year’s resolutions; it’s about raising awareness of the perils of our sedentary work lifestyles and introducing lasting healthy habits into the working week. And this is where the experienced, hands-on local support provided by the County Sports Partnerships, funding from Sport England and the professional advice of supporters at BHF Health at Work offer the 2015 campaign a really compelling edge.
Lee Mason from the County Sports Partnership Network (CSP Network) said:
“11,700 individuals from over 2,200 workplaces across the country took part in the eight week National Workplace Challenge launched in January 2014, recording an astounding 280,000 activities on Workplace Challenge’s online tracker. The ambition with ‘My Team 2015’ is to inspire even more workers to get active by motivating participants to encourage their colleagues to follow them in embracing a healthy lifestyle.
Workplace Challenge’s online facilities, supported by the expertise, local links and knowledge of our teams on the ground at the County Sport Partnerships are designed to give workplaces the support, ideas and incentives they need to successfully implement their 2015 health initiatives and reap the financial and productivity driven benefits of a more active workforce.”
Mike Diaper, Director of Community Sport at Sport England said:
“At the beginning of a new year, lots of people want to get healthier and start new fitness regimes. But very often, the pressures of work and personal life can create a barrier to keeping those ambitions alive.
"That's why campaigns like My 2015 Team are so important. Finding a way of keeping that activity going, whether it's by exercising with friends or competition with workmates, is key to creating a sporting habit that will last.
"Workplace Challenge makes sport and exercise accessible to everyone, whatever their age, fitness level or lifestyle preference. I strongly urge people to sign up, encourage their colleagues to do the same and enjoy being active together.”
For more information, log on to www.workplacechallenge.org.uk
NOTES TO EDITOR:
- Workplace Challenge’s online activity tracking platform is a free online facility available through www.workplacechallenge.org.uk that enables individuals and workplaces to log all of their physical activity, and easily compare activity levels to other participating individuals and organisations.
- As part of ‘My Team 2015” employees and employers will be encouraged to log and generate points and to take part in a series of challenges, events and competitions throughout the year.
- Points are calculated according to Metabolic Equivalents (METs) where 1MET is a person's average seated energy expenditure which is equivalent to 1kcal.kg-1.h-1. MET values will be different for different forms of exercise and will increase with the intensity and duration of exercise.
- Active loggers will be able to see a variety of stats including distance travelled, calories burned, CO2 saved and progress against the recommended 150 minutes of physical activity per week using a new targets bar. It's also possible to set personal targets for 2015 (linked to fundraising if you wish) and create your ‘circles’ to compare your progress against friends and colleagues. All these features and more are available from your dashboard.
- A minimum of three registered employees are required for a workplace to appear in a leader board and people can also track their own individual progress locally and nationally.
- Local County Sports Partnerships will manage the online platform for their community, ensuring that there are challenges, activities and competitions available offline to encourage people to stay active.
County Sports Partnership Network
- The CSP Network represents 45 local County Sports Partnership teams across the country.
- Collectively, they contribute to the health of the nation by helping local partners, organisations and deliverers to promote the benefits of active lifestyles across local communities.
- The CSP Network delivered The Community Games – one of the most successful community campaigns seen in the UK, attracting over 2 million members of the public to come together in local communities to take part in active cultural events inspired by London 2012.
British Heart Foundation Health at Work (HaW)
- Coronary heart disease is the UK’s single biggest killer. For over 50 years we’ve pioneered research that’s transformed the lives of people living with heart and circulatory conditions. Our work has been central to the discoveries of vital treatments that are changing the fight against heart disease. But so many people still need our help. From babies born with life-threatening heart problems to the many Mums, Dads and Grandparents who survive a heart attack and endure the daily battles of heart failure. Join our fight for every heartbeat in the UK. Every pound raised, minute of your time and donation to our shops will help make a difference to people’s lives. For more information visit bhf.org.uk.
Phase 2 - Participating County Sports Partnerships
County Durham Sport
Energize Shropshire Telford and Wrekin
Get Berkshire Active
Greater Sport (Manchester)
Hereford & Worcestershire
Leap (Bucks & Milton Keynes)
Leicester-Shire & Rutland Sport
Living Sport (Cambridgeshire & Peterborough)
North Yorkshire Sport
Somerset Activity and Sports Partnership
South Yorkshire Sport
Sport across Staffordshire & Stoke-on-Trent
Sport Hampshire & IOW
Team Beds and Luton
Tees Valley Sport
Wesport (West of England Sport)
West Yorkshire Sport
Wiltshire & Swindon
Kate Allum, Citydesk Sport, on behalf of Workplace Challenge and County Sports Partnership Network.
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