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Expert advice: How the daily mile scheme can help staff be more productive

Written by Peter Jones on .

Peter Jones of The HR DeptPeter Jones of The HR DeptIn a scheme being launched by the Scottish government, businesses are being asked to encourage staff to walk a mile a day to improve health and productivity.

After a recent successful trial at a school, Scottish Power are championing the scheme that’s now being rolled out across the education sector.

The ‘daily mile’ scheme is designed to get people active. Health guidelines recommend walking 10,000 steps a day – approximately five miles.

Only six percent of commuters walk to work and a meagre three percent cycle. Public Health England recently claimed that four in ten 40 to 60 year olds walk less than ten minutes continuously at a brisk pace each month.

A recent study found that 42 percent of people who were encouraged to be physically active every 30 minutes reported they felt a lot more engaged, and more focused, than those that didn’t.

In Columbia, government computers lock users out for a certain amount of time, forcing employees to take a break. There is a formula designed for maximum work/active balance of 20 minutes sitting work, eight minutes standing work and two minutes walking every half an hour.

Do you have an office of people planted to their chairs? Here are some practical ideas you could try out to encourage a less sedentary culture:

  • Try standing or walking meetings.
  • Ask staff to take the stairs instead of the lift.
  • Introduce a pedometer/Fitbit challenge.
  • Offer a cycle to work scheme and consider shower facilities if possible.

Peter Jones runs the HR Dept in Swindon and Wiltshire, and offers cost-effective, hassle-free, expert advice on auto enrolment. www.hrdept.co.uk/offices/south-west/swindon