A recent ‘Walk@work’ seminar led by Dr Nick Gilson of the University of Queensland, Australia was hosted by the Public Health Agency (PHA) and the Physical Activity and Health Research Group at the University of Ulster.
The programme targets physical activity within the workplace and asks participants to reduce their time spent sitting through ‘ramping’ or progressively increasing their baseline walking to a recognised health criterion of 10,000 steps per workday over a 10-week period.
The aim of the seminar was to share research on how a web-based tool could support workplace walking. The group-based behavioural change programme is aimed at the specific needs of employees engaged in sedentary occupations.
Some things that participants learned about to improve their physical activity throughout the working day included: active emails; the engagement of staff in physical activity through website prompts/tracking progress mechanisms; network/community support forums; structured and unstructured breaks; opportunities for incidental activity; and route-based walking programmes.
Colette Brolly, health and social wellbeing improvement manager and physical activity lead, PHA, said: “Many employees spend a large proportion of their time sitting and it is important that people are supported to change sedentary behaviour, which evidence suggests is a growing concern. Spending large amounts of time being sitting may increase the risk of some health outcomes, even among people who are active at the recommended levels.”
Contact PHA Press Office on 028 9031 1611.
Notes to the editor
Photo caption L-R: Colette Brolly, PHA, Dr Nick Gibson, University of Queensland and Marie Murphy, University of Ulster.