Employees do not like working up a sweat at work

Employers offering cycle-to-work schemes in order to improve staff wellbeing might want to consider research from the British Heart Foundation that suggests one in three employees do not want to be seen hot an sweaty in front of their colleagues.

After all, sharing the lift with the chief executive, while donning close-fitting lycra and a fluorescent high-visibility jacket, with the sweat pouring from their temples providing the only distraction from ‘helmet hair’, might undermine any sense of wellbeing.

The charity’s research revealed that 35% workers avoid exercise during the working day because they did not want to be seen getting hot and sweaty in front of their colleagues. Over half (55%) spend more than half their working day sitting or standing still. Nearly as many (48%) eat lunch at their desks, while just over one in six workers (16%) feel the pressure to take a shorter break.

In addition, the research showed that 81% of workers fail to get the recommended amount of exercise a week.

Lisa Purcell, project manager for the BHF’s health at work programme, said: “Embarrassment should not prevent people from being healthy at work. You do not have to don a lycra leotard to get fit and healthy, the payoffs from even simple changes like taking a walk at lunchtime are too great to ignore. Getting healthy during the working day means you are less stressed and better motivated.”

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