Companies sign up to keep employees’ hearts healthy

The Metropolitan Police, Jaguar Landrover, John Lewis, Bristol City Council and Corus are the latest employers to sign up to the Health at Work programme offered by the British Heart Foundation (BHF). 

More than 800 organisations have now signed up to the programme, which encourages organisations to think about the ways they can promote healthy eating and regular exercise in the workplace, and highlights the impact this can have on overall business performance.

The BHF said that being physically active during the working day can help to improve concentration, helping staff to become more mentally alert and improving rapport between colleagues. 

Lisa Purcell, Health at Work project manager at the BHF, said: “It is important organisations take their colleagues health to heart. There are many ways to apply Health at Work in the office to help people break free from the shackles of their desks. Our research has shown that far from lowering productivity encouraging staff to take breaks in order to exercise and eat well changes their working day for the better.”

For example, public sector staff in the London borough of Islington have benefited from Workfit Islington, a programme for workers in the NHS, council, housing services, education services and the mental health foundation trust.

Dana Hayes, Workfit project manager for NHS Islington said: “A number of initiatives for staff have been introduced under the Workfit programme, including cookery classes for staff, lunchtime walking groups and a swim for £1 scheme.

“42% of staff who participated in Workfit reported learning healthy eating or other new life skills and an overwhelming 88% feel their employer should offer health and wellbeing initiatives at work.”

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