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East Midlands Chamber News

Derbyshire workers challenged to get active

revolutionise your lunchbreakDerbyshire businesses are being urged to help revolutionise the lunch break by encouraging their workforce to get active - and reap the business benefits as a result.

The Derbyshire Workplace Challenge will launch a new eight-week challenge on Monday 4 January 2016, and is looking for new businesses to sign up and encourage staff to step away from their desks at lunchtime and take time out to take part in sport or physical activity.

Organisers say that by encouraging employees to get active on their lunch break businesses could save one sick day per employee per year.

The Derbyshire Workplace Challenge is an online activity log challenge which allows colleagues to track how much sport and activity they are doing, and work together to earn activity points and work their way up the online leaderboard.

Anyone can sign up to the challenge and it is completely free for individuals and workplaces to join.

Rachael Dyer, Sport Development Officer at Derbyshire Sport, which runs the Workplace Challenge in Derbyshire, said that businesses which encouraged staff to get active could reap the rewards of a healthier and happier workforce.

She said: “Busy workloads can mean that employees sometimes feel under pressure to work through lunch, and time is often cited as a barrier to participation in sport and physical activity. But this can mean that many workers often spend eight or nine hours sat at a desk, and during winter the lack of daylight hours often provides many workers with a ready-made excuse to avoid exercising outside of work hours.

“We are inviting employers to think differently and offer their employees the opportunity for a flexible lunch break so they can participate in sport and physical activity – and come back to work feeling re-energised.”

Across England workers take on average 5.31 sick days per year. However NHS research has shown that those who are physically active are 20% less likely to take a sick day and, if they do, they are 27% more likely to return to work more quickly.

Based on the average earnings for Derbyshire, by saving one sick day per year per employee, Derbyshire businesses could collectively save £50,692,994 per year.

A number of prizes will be on offer throughout the challenge, both to teams and individuals. They include four free places in the 2016 Derby 10k Business Team Challenge, which will be awarded to the workplace at the top of the leaderboard at the end of the eight-week challenge.

In addition, anyone who successfully completes and logs 150 minutes of activity each week for the first four weeks of the challenge will automatically be entered into a prize draw to win two tickets to the NBL Team Derby home game on Monday 8 February.