ACTIVE WORKPLACE PROGRAMME
North Tipperary Sports Partnership ran a pilot Active Workplace programme with two large employers in the region, namely North Tipperary County Council and Revenue Commissioners in 2008.
The programme encourages employees to participate in a sport/physical activity and workplace commitment to fitness and healthy lifestyles for all.
The programme was designed in conjunction with the pilot organisations to suit the interests and work-schedule of their employees as well as available facilities. The chosen activities include weekly lunchtime boxercise sessions, and yoga classes and tennis lessons directly after work. Both organisations plan to hold a nutrition talk in the workplace to be given by a qualified dietician.
Speaking at the launch of the Active Workplace initiative Maria Scanlon, Coordinator of North Tipperary Sports Partnership, explained “over half of the Irish population are not active enough to benefit their health and it is likely that half of the employees in each organisation are not getting enough regular physical activity”.
She added “North Tipperary Sports Partnership promotes participation in sports and physical activity and aims to create improved awareness of the health benefits of regular activity. We looked at the barriers that employees face in terms of finding the time to exercise. One solution that emerged was to integrate physical activity into the workplace routine. We are delighted to partner with North Tipperary County Council and the Revenue Commissioners in piloting the Active Workplace initiative. There is great interest in the programme in both organisations”.
The participating organisations recognise that physical activity in the workplace makes good business sense. Employees who are regularly active report increased productivity, reduced injuries, reduced stress and take less sick days. Also, regular activity reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke, obesity, diabetes, some cancers, anxiety and depression.
In 2009 & 2010, both organisations took part in activities such as salsacise, soccer, fitness classes, pilates, swimming & tennis. This programme was very successful in 2009 & 2010 and it is hoped it will continue with employees taking part in new activities in 2011.