SPONSORED CONTENT: The COVID-19 pandemic has shed new light on an already critical aspect of working life: that of employee health and wellbeing.
While awareness of the dangers of sedentary working was already increasing, these unprecedented times underline the importance of companies taking a more comprehensive approach to support the physical and mental wellbeing of their workers by providing guidance and resources to protect staff, both on site and working from home.
AJ Products UK and ukactive have teamed up on a report to examine the impact of working practices on employee health and wellbeing. Tackling sedentary behaviour in the workforce is a comprehensive study into the state of workplace health that looks at the risks associated with long hours spent in sedentary positions at work, whether that work is office-based or remote, and what can be done to improve activity levels among the working population.
The report investigates how our office spaces must change as well as what companies can do to support remote workers and ensure wellbeing practices are sustained away from the physical workplace. It also examines real-world solutions based on case studies from businesses running successful wellbeing programmes to provide a ‘best practice’ guide for other companies to follow.
AJ Products is a supplier of workplace furniture and interior solutions that focuses on ways to solve the problem of a sedentary workday. The company is committed to making workplaces healthier and more active through an innovative and ever-growing range of sit-stand furniture and by raising public awareness of the health risks of prolonged sitting.
ukactive is an independent, not-for-profit organisation that exists to improve the health of the nation by getting more people, more active, more often. It provides services and facilitates partnerships for a broad range of organisations from across the public, private and third sectors, all of which support its vision and have a role to play in achieving its goal.
Work stress and negative health outcomes associated with sedentary behaviour have reached substantial proportions within western industrialised societies at great cost to businesses as well as employees.
Tackling sedentary behaviour in the workforce demonstrates how simple measures such as equipping offices and homes with better furniture and encouraging employees to increase their physical activity levels can mitigate the negative health effects associated with sedentary behaviour during the workday. It looks at how interventions around workplace design have been shown to reduce sitting time by as much as 40 minutes over an 8-hour work day while other evidence shows taking multiple standing breaks or engaging in some physical movement throughout the day can be more beneficial than having moderate to vigorous activity for a singular set amount of time.
The report also features case studies from businesses of all sizes that highlight health and wellbeing strategies that have worked effectively as well as how these programmes have been adapted in light of COVID-19 to provide the same level of care to employees working from home. The case studies highlight the need for each business to consider what types of interventions would be most effective based on employee preferences and demographics. It also calls attention to the need for companies to promote flexibility, permissibility and a positive working environment to ensure that employees feel comfortable prioritising their health.
Tackling sedentary behaviour in the workforce comes at a critical juncture. With the rise of homeworking and increasingly flexible working patterns, employers have a unique opportunity to reshape their values and play a more proactive role in supporting the physical and mental health of their employees. This report gives businesses an insight into the importance of prioritising employee health and will act as a guide on how best to implement successful practices to support the wellbeing of our national workforce.
To download the full report for free here: Tackling sedentary behaviour in the workforce