Tag Archives: workplace health

Join a running group to boost your training

I love running but when I go out on my own, I’m a plodder, grinding out the miles while listening to podcasts. Good for the mileage but does little to enhance my run performance.

Hill reps, intervals, power moves would all, I know, help build my speed and endurance, but they hurt. So if I’m going to incorporate them effectively into my running regime, I really need to have someone there making me do them – and making me do them properly. No cheating when it gets tough.

The answer? Get a PT (costly solo solution) or join a running group (less expensive, more sociable). I opted for the latter, a new RunTogether group led by Wimbledon’s enthusiastic and inspirational health coach Anna Desogus, who I already know from my work on the @HealthyMerton healthy workplace programme. The group was set up in association with central Wimbledon yoga studio Jiva Health, so keep an eye out, as there may be some useful run + gait therapy + yoga sessions scheduled soon…

Find out more about Healthy Workplace services here

Runners' feet

Raring to RunTogether: high vis recommended on a frosty Wimbledon night

The first session took place last night. Anna kicked our training off with a 7pm safety briefing, then we took a slow jog to a safe cul de sac where we performed a series of power/strength moves: exactly the kind of thing I would never do when running alone. Duly warmed up, we head for a secluded residential area just off Wimbledon Hill for a hill reps session that challenged every one of us.

It was perfect: better runners could aim for more reps, while the less experienced/ambitious among us could go at our own pace, performing fewer circuits yet still pushing ourselves. No one was left behind, and Anna was super-effective in instruction and motivation. An hour later, we were all back in central Wimbledon for a final stretching session then home in time for supper. Brilliant.

Fancy joining Anna’s weekly Monday night RunTogether session? It caters for all levels of running (you must be able to run for at least 10 minutes), with a varied programme incorporating a dynamic workout as well as pure running, making it the perfect complement to your usual run sessions. Thoroughly recommend.

Find out more (and book your place): Anna’s Raramuri running group
Personalised nutrition, health, coaching services: Anna Desogus Health Coaching

Business taking steps towards a more active workforce

Staff at the Sit-Stand.com standing desk company are contractually obliged to take a 15-minute walk during office hours every working day.

It costs the company precisely nothing, but it is a healthy workplaces commitment to the principles of a business run by the founder of Active Working: to reduce the amount of time we spend sitting down at work.

And as CEO Gavin Bradley points out, once you’ve started your 15-minute walk-out, it will probably turn into more. Activity logged: job done.

Evidence is constantly growing that staff who spend most of their working day seated are both less productive and more inclined to suffer health problems. Office workers sit on average 10 hours each day, and 70% of this sitting time is at work. The solution is simple: stand up and move around more. It’s not complicated, it’s not expensive, just good business sense.

No surprise, then, that during a 90-minute meeting with Sit-Stand.com‘s director Gavin Bradley, we were on our feet the whole time. A standing meeting with the offer of a freshly-blitzed smoothie: I love a company that practises what it preaches, and this one certainly does.

It’s all part of a growing recognition of the fact that employers who take measures to enhance the health of staff benefit from people who are more motivated and productive, less likely to suffer stress and absenteeism and act as positive advocates for the business.

So why don’t more bosses take simple steps such as encouraging staff to move around more, step away from their work stations at regular intervals and pay more attention to their personal health outcomes?

It’s a business culture issue, but one that is certainly starting to change, as is evidenced by the increasing number of companies I work with who are recognising that supporting their workforce in making healthy choices does not have to be costly or time-consuming.

Workplace health-boosting measures can include steps as simple as moving bins away from desks so that staff are forced to stand and walk a short distance to dispose of rubbish, or encouraging greater use of stairs by posting inspirational Step Jockey style stickers beside the lifts.

Installing adjustable standing desks is becoming popular among employees, and is another relatively low-cost investment, with the entry level Sit-Stand.com Yo-Yo workstation costing well below £200.

In Denmark, 90% of employees have an adjustable standing desk. Health and wellbeing at work evangelist Gavin Bradley would love to see similar in the UK, and with his value range of adjustable sit-stand desks, PLUS his Active Working and Get Britain Standing campaigns, he is taking massive steps in helping move the world’s workforce towards a more active future. I’m in.

Find out more about how I can help YOUR business enhance its healthy workplace credentials

Wash Wizard cleans up on workplace workouts

wash wizard

Magic! Your workplace wash-mate

Workplace health and wellbeing is a big part of business for me at present, and encouraging staff to stay active through the working day is one of the ways in which companies can help build motivation and productivity.

But what if you’re not lucky enough to be in a building that offers showers for a post-workout freshen up? Picture the scene: you cycle to work, grab a lunchtime run or a midday gym session. Mind cleared, but body sweaty. No time or facilities to take a shower.

Options? Wet-wipe-wash or sweaty desk all afternoon. Neither is great for you or your workmates.

Good news! I just road-tested a third option, and it’s quick, discreet and – critically – effective. Wash Wizard is just perfect as a workplace post-workout clean-up. It’s a simple idea: a tightly-rolled sponge impregnated with sweat-busting aloe vera foam that takes up almost zero space in your work bag.

wash wizard

Wash Wizard: discreet and effective

Simply splash with water from your bottle to activate, swipe the bits that need freshening up, and you’re ready for the rest of your day. No need to rinse or towel dry, and it’s fragrance-free so suitable for both sexes.

At £7.99 for a pack of five, Wash Wizard is my latest affordable gymbag essential (brilliant for camping, sailing trips, overnight train journeys and festivals too).

Find out more about how your business can harness the  power of wellbeing at work to benefit both your staff AND your bottom line via our healthy workplaces service.