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On Your Feet Britain day

We are all becoming increasingly aware of the dangers of over-sedentary working and personal lives. Getting behind this month’s “On Your Feet Britain” day should be a no-brainer for most employers.

Employee health and wellbeing – employers need to do their bit to get Britons back on their feet

Friday 27 April is a day all health-focused employers should have marked in their calendar. Why? Because it is this year’s “On Your Feet Britain” day.

Organised by GetBritainStanding.org in association with Active Working, On Your Feet Britain is straightforward – it is a national day when workers across Britain unite and participate in a variety of fun and simple activities to #SitLess and #MoveMore at work.

It is recommending a range of very simple changes people can make, including:

  • Standing during phone calls
  • Standing and taking a break from your computer every 30 minutes
  • Using the stairs
  • Having standing or walking meetings
  • Eating your lunch away from your desk
  • Walking to your colleague’s desk instead of phoning or emailing them
  • Standing at the back of the room during presentations

There is also a challenge page that contains a range of further ideas, such as running lunchtime fitness workshops, having an alert that sounds at random times when everyone must stand up and organising lunchtime walking groups.

Workplace standing ‘champions’

Workplaces and individuals can sign up for free by registering here. Of course, there needs to be someone to communicate and champion what is going on. So the organisers are looking for company workplace communicators.

None of this, of course, is new, and the risks of overly sedentary working and home lives are becoming increasingly well-recognised.

Make being more active a permanent change

But, as Dr Lucy Wright, Chief Medical Officer at Optima Health makes clear, they are messages that need to keep on being hammered home and an event like On Your Feet Britain day can be a great springboard.

“This is a really worthwhile ‘day’ to embrace and get involved in. But it is almost important that it isn’t a one-off, that being and becoming more active is something that becomes the norm in your workplace or organisation.

“Most of the activities highlighted are simple and easy to put in place. Some may feel awkward or unusual at first, but can rapidly become second-nature. Getting up and out of the office and being more active can also of course also help with things like work-life balance, reflection and creativity, as well as having significant health benefits.