Tips to get home working employees moving for On Your Feet Britain

On Your Feet Britain (24 April 2020), a day where workers across Britain unite to encourage people to sit less and move more during the working day, is fast approaching.

Aiming to encourage employers to get up from desks every 30 minutes, take the stairs where possible and make small and sustainable lifestyle changes, On Your Feet Britain hopes to reduce the time people spend sitting down.

Over the past month or so, many of us will have faced getting to grips with different working patterns which include more time at home and less time spent commuting and walking. The new work-life which many of us are adapting to makes this initiative more important than ever.

The West Midlands Academic Health Science Network works with Active Black Country (ABC), a local project committed to promoting sport and physical activity across the region. Together WMAHSN and ABC identify local groups to attend and deliver sporting events and involve them in activities that celebrate health and wellbeing.

ABC has partnered up with Sport England and further local stakeholders to run a local campaign in response to COVID-19, encouraging people to be active.

For On Your Feet Britain and beyond, ABC has created a central hub of top tips, making it easier for people to search for exercise inspiration. The site includes bespoke activities for older adults, people with a disability and children and young people.

Some top tips for staying active while working from home this month:

Stand during phone calls

Whether you are chatting to a colleague or friend, use this time to walk around your house or garden. Standing and walking whilst chatting is an easy way to get more steps in, spend less time sat down and talking will distract you so you won’t notice how many extra steps you are doing.

Take a break every 30 mins

Stand or take a break from your computer every 30 mins, simple things such as getting up to make a drink or put a load of washing on will help ease the amount of screen time and give your eyes a break too. Time away from your screen can also help to boost productivity and creativity.

Strength exercises

The NHS also recommends a series of strength exercises which can easily be done at home without any equipment. These simple exercises include calf raises, sideways leg lift, wall press-ups and more. Demonstrations can be found here: www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/strength-exercises/

Tammy Holmes, Head of Innovation Exchange at WMAHSN said:

“Keeping fit and active is more important than ever, given our current requirement to work from home. Not only is staying active important for our physical health but also our mental health and wellbeing.  Suddenly our homes have not only become our workplaces but for many of us our schools, playgrounds and gyms. On Your Feet Britain is a great way to promote activity and these tips are such a good starting point!

“Personally, I’m taking every opportunity to get up and away from my desk, whether it be walking, cycling, virtual running races or even climbing to the top of a mountain using a step in my own living room. We want to encourage people to get creative and stay fit and healthy in whatever way they can.”

ABC is a working partner of WMAHSN’s citizen engagement programme, WM Life, which works to promote health and wellbeing for communities around England. Through public events, WM Life leads the way in educating and inspiring citizens of all ages to get active.

For further information on WMAHSN, visit: https://www.wmahsn.org/