Workplace health research within the NCSEM-EM looks at a range of ways people can be more active throughout the working day, from incorporating an active commute or standing more at work to engaging in team sports and other activities with colleagues.

We have also evaluated workplace health initiatives to assess their effectiveness in getting people more active and improving health and wellbeing.

Return to Work toolkit

NCSEM-EM and Loughborough University's Dr Fehmidah Munir has helped to develop a new online guide which allows employers and staff to talk about mental health.

The Return to Work Toolkit gives bosses and their employees information, downloadable material and advice on how best to approach absences and returns due to stress, anxiety or depression.

Return to Work toolkit.

SHIFT study

SHIFT, or Structured Health Intervention For Truckers, is a programme developed by NCSEM-EM researchers at Loughborough University, University of Leicester and Leicester's Hospitals to help truckers lead healthier lives.

Lorry drivers on the programme attend interactive education sessions about healthy eating and physical activity, are provided with physical activity monitors to track their movement and engage in ‘step count challenges’ with other drivers. They are also given exercise equipment and a workout routine that can be used in their cabs at service stations and other resting places.

Find out more.

Reducing sitting time boosts office staff’s work engagement and wellbeing

It is widely known that sitting down for long periods of time, even for those who do some exercise regularly, can lead to poor health. Teams from the University of Leicester and Loughborough University wanted to investigate simple solutions to reducing sitting time in the office.

The research, funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), found that giving height-adjustable workstations to staff, alongside a brief education seminar, posters and providing feedback on sitting behaviour (i.e., the SMArT Work programme), reduced sitting time and increased standing whilst at work, which resulted in lots of work and wellbeing benefits.

Find out more.

Workplace Challenge

The County Sport Partnership Network Workplace Challenge is one of Sport England’s Lottery funded Get Healthy, Get Active projects. The programme aims to engage inactive people to increase participation in sport and physical activity and build the evidence base for the role of the workplace in promoting sports participation to improve health.

The activities delivered as part of the project include online national activity log challenges as well as offline activities including business games, competition programme events and Workplace Challenge Champion training. This report outlines the findings from our evaluation of the third year of the Workplace Challenge (from 1 October 2015 to 30 September 2016).

Download the Workplace Challenge report.

What makes an effective work walking programme?

A high proportion of the adult population in England do not participate in sufficient physical activity to benefit their health. The workplace is a setting in which there is potential to reach large numbers of adults with interventions to promote physical activity and improve health.

Research from Loughborough University looked at one workplace walking programme, Walking Works, and evaluated its effectiveness as a strategy for promoting walking for the journey to/from work.

Find out more.

Image: World Obesity Federation

What influences people to walk to work?

Loughborough University research has identified that older age groups and people who own a car should be considered as key target groups for interventions to increase commuter walking.

The research aimed to identify the individual, employment and psychosocial factors which influence commuter walking. Individuals were less likely to walk for their commute if they perceived that they lived too far away, think walking is less convenient than using a car, did not have time to walk, needed a car for work or had always travelled the same way.

Find out more.

See also: Pedestrian-friendly routes encourage walking to work

Table tennis in the workplace associated with workplace wellbeing

NCSEM-EM research has found that playing table tennis in the workplace is positively associated with employee wellbeing.

Loughborough University’s Dr Florence Kinnafick worked with Table Tennis England, as part of their Loop at Work programme, to explore the impact of playing table tennis at work on employee job satisfaction, workplace wellbeing, physical activity levels and general wellbeing.

Find out more.

Download the Table Tennis England infographic of the findings.

Workplace team sports could improve health and productivity

Loughbrough University research has shown that workplace sport plays an important role in keeping people physically and mentally healthy as well as improving productivity.

Playing team games such as football, netball, volleyball and rugby will naturally improve fitness, health and wellbeing. However, in a study of workplace sport in UK businesses, What Benefits Does Team Sport Hold for the Workplace?, researchers also found benefits for team function and organisational productivity, as well as employee health.

Find out more.