Businesses across Shropshire are being invited to take up an ‘Active Advent’ challenge to keep their workforce happy and healthy in the countdown to Christmas
Energize has produced a calendar of activities for the second year, following the success of its first campaign in 2016.
This year’s tasks, which run from Monday to Friday until Christmas Day, include everything from desk chair swivels to leg raises, press ups, jogging on the spot, yoga, burpees and planking.
Ben Harper, senior sports manager at Energize, said; “Statistics show that the average worker has 6.6 days off sick every year, costing hundreds of pounds in lost productivity.
“By supporting the health and wellbeing of employees, staff perform better at work, are more motivated, have increased job satisfaction and are less likely to look for other jobs.
“The run-up to Christmas is traditionally one of the least healthy times of the year.
“The Active Advent challenge is an opportunity to redress the balance – and have some teambuilding fun with work colleagues at the same time.
“We want companies to post pictures or video on social media which demonstrate how well they have risen to each daily challenge.”
Professor John Buckley, at University Centre Shrewsbury, is a leading academic in exercise, sedentary behaviour and cardiovascular health, and has revealed some powerful statistics highlighting how inactivity at work was increasing the risk of serious illness.
“Inactivity is now the most prevalent risk of heart disease, above other factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, obesity, and high cholesterol,” he said.
He told how, even back in 1890, Shropshire’s Olympic pioneer Dr William Penny Brookes was writing about the importance of workers allocating at least half an hour a day to ‘bodily training’.
“Nothing has really changed. It is still advocated that we spend 150 minutes of exercise every week, to burn an extra 1,500 calories.”
Energize will be offering spot prizes for companies taking part in this year’s Active Advent challenge, and giving a daily demonstration of each day’s suggested activity on its twitter page.
Ironbridge-based business consultancy Pleydell Smithyman was crowned Shropshire’s Active Advent champion last year – and will be defending its title in 2017.
“It was a great way to boost morale and get people smiling,” said the company’s ecologist Kelly Hopkins.
“It’s great fun working together to meet a challenge – whether that was something simple like all completing two burpees or something seemingly much more difficult like 23 members of staff holding a 22 second yoga pose!
“We’re look forward to participating again this year and hopefully retaining our Active Advent title.”
Last year’s challenge was also embraced by the team at NHS Telford and Wrekin.
Information analyst Craig Lovatt said: “It gave our staff the opportunity to get away from their desks for a few minutes twice a day and be a little more active.
“Not only were our staff moving, but the laughter and smiles of staff taking part lifted spirits. Bring on Active Advent 2017!”
To find out more, and register for the challenge, follow Energize on twitter @EnergizeCSP, and use the hashtag #activeadvent.