Employers’ new year push on staff fitness

Employers can help staff work off the excesses of the festive season with fitness initiatives.

American Express has begun its annual ‘New Year, New You’ campaign under its Healthy Living programme. Breckon Jones, director of health and benefits, EMEA, said: “Exercise is a central pillar in our wellbeing programme, although we like to use the phrase ‘move more’ so that it is inclusive of incidental activity as well as structured exercise.”

In November, the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) published guidance for employers to promote healthy staff activities. In creating a programme, employers should find out what staff want.

Jussi Raisanen, chief executive officer at workplace wellness motivator HeiaHeia, said: “Often, we encourage [organisations] to try to get something that gets everybody sparked up, so there is that feeling of trying to achieve something together.”

GE Healthcare offer a fitness programme, called HealthAhead, which encourages staff to begin and maintain a healthy lifestyle through exercise. It runs fitness and wellbeing activities for staff every day at lunchtime or after work.

Employers can also tie New Year’s resolutions in with an entire corporate culture of wellbeing.

Peter Croft, executive vice-president, international, at FitLinxx, said: “If leadership says it would like staff to take activity during their lunch hour three times a week, it encourages people to think about their health.”