Every good employer knows the importance of a healthy and motivated workforce.
Encouraging active travel for getting to and from work and trips made during the work day is a great way to help employees include physical activity in their daily routine.
About 40 percent of Western Australian adults are insufficiently active and the lack of time is a common reason for not doing more. Many working people spend a large part of their day at work and many jobs are sedentary (e.g. desk-bound office roles).
Workplaces can have a positive influence on risk factors for chronic disease such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers. Improving employee health and wellbeing offers real business benefits including:
- Productivity of staff and reduced ‘presenteeism’
- Reduced absence due to illness
- A positive work environment and higher staff engagement.
Yoga or pilates or lunchtime sports will appeal to some staff but almost everyone makes trips to and from the workplace. Walking or cycling to the workplace, the train station or bus stop or a business appointment is a practical way for many people to incorporate physical activity into their routine.
Our top 5 ideas for building active travel into your workplace health and wellbeing program are:
- Keep it fun, include a ride to work or even an ‘active transport’ breakfast in the workplace calendar of health and wellness events
- Keep your staff informed, add content and links about active travel (including links to the Your Move website) to the intranet health and wellness page
- Give them an incentive to change, if your organisation offers a wellness or gym allowance, consider adjusting it to include purchase of walking and cycling gear (like shoes or a bicycle)
- Motivate them, how about organising a staff walking or cycling challenge? Or even getting a corporate team together for one of Perth’s many community cycling or walking events?
- Make it possible, by providing them with the facilities they need to use active transport. This can be as simple as providing workplace SmartRiders or as complex as installing brand new showers, lockers and bike parking facilities.
Find out more:
- Contact Healthier Workplace WA for help getting your workplace wellness initiative started or to take it to the next level, they offer great resources, training and a scheme to recognise workplace efforts
- Check out our How-To guides on promoting cycling and public transport
- Read stories about what other workplaces are doing.