I attended the Kent Sport ‘Active At Work’ Champion Training course in November 2018.  The course was full of fantastic ideas on how to fit activities into a work day and to make activities fun.  I left with better knowledge of the benefits of active breaks both mentally and physically for employees but really appreciated how important it was for a company to have a healthy workforce for increasing productivity and for reducing sick days.

Saying this, I was unsure how the idea would be received at Your leisure Kent Ltd as working in Head Office, I’d never seen anyone take a lunch break and everyone ate at their desks.

Inspired and motivated by the Training course, I started a midday 10 minute active break workout everyday and knocked on the office doors with varied reception.  We do a different workout everyday; walking outside, boxing, resistance bands, chair abs, Legs and Stairs (no-one liked that one!) and we did a fun reindeer hoop toss at Christmas.   Since we started, different people drop in everyday depending on their schedules.  We started with 4 of us and now it is ‘normal’ to come and find us at midday.  Our MD has joined in and loves the new online activity tracker too as he is super competitive!

Having started with a 10 minute workout everyday, we now often continue for 15-20 minutes if we can.   The workouts have allowed us to get to know each other better and there are a couple in the finance team who I don’t think I would have ever spoken to if it hadn’t been for these workouts.  Colleagues have noticed a difference in their energy levels and in their productivity in the afternoons after our workouts, so there hasn’t been the negativity I was expecting about loss of work time.  One colleague, Debbie, has also seen the benefits of better shoulder mobility and has joined in every workout from never doing anything like this before.

The everyday workouts have definitely bonded us as a team and have now inspired the company to set up their own ‘Active at Work’ Challenge, so that the rest of the employees can feel the benefits of an active break.  I have also noticed that these lunchtime sessions are making people more aware of their activity outside of work and it’s really exciting to hear conversations about what they’re doing and about using Strava or Fitbit to keep them motivated.

Thank you so much to Lucy and Kent Sport for delivering the Active at Work training course.  It really has inspired us to develop our staff wellbeing programme and fit activity into our working day.

Natasha Brown, Ageless Thanet Programme Coordinator, Your Leisure Kent Ltd