Home | Workshop on “Active workplace: exercise and sport in the company“

Workshop on “Active workplace: exercise and sport in the company“


Pacte + Graz

The “Active Workplace” workshop, run by the PACTE+ project, was held at Graz in Austria on 1st February, bringing together a panel of experts, business representatives and local authorities.

 

PACTE+ was initiated by Sport and Citizenship with the support of the European Commission. It aims to promote sport and physical activity at the local level in Europe. Its main pillars include raising awareness among governing bodies, developing active mobility and promoting physical activity in schools, universities and businesses. The aim of this workshop organised by the European Federation for Company Sport (EFCS), Evaleo and the city of Graz, the project partners, was to share examples of schemes for encouraging physical activity in the workplace.

 

 

Active Workplace

According to the Ministry for Sport’s website, the workplace, where so much time is spent, has a role in combating the sedentary lifestyle among adults.[1] In fact we spend a third of our time at work. Doing sport is synonymous with benefits for both the employer and the employee in terms of well-being, a decrease in absenteeism (-25%) and increased productivity (+8%). The workplace is thus an ideal, strategic place for initiating physical activity.

 

How to promote sport in the company?

How can companies enable employees to be active? What can motivate them to do sport at work? At the workshop, various speakers shared their good practices for promoting sport in the workplace.

 

Good practices to remember

– Organising sporting events or challenges between companies. Michael Ormann, co-founder of MOVEVO, held the attention of the audience when he presented his application dedicated to supporting and facilitating physical activity for employees by using team challenges. This initiative offers practical solutions for integrating activity into employees’ daily routine, favouring a healthier life-style. Thomas Rajakovics, head of the sports department for the city of Graz, presented the application “Court Culture” within the city, further encouraging sport:
> in public spaces: access to urban challenges and a sports map showing available sports facilities in the city
> in companies: suggesting missions linking sport and climate issues to encourage internal exchanges

– Setting up partnerships between companies and town councils in order to give employees access to sports facilities

– Internal communications to make employees aware of the existence of sport courses in the workplace

– Making tools such as guides to sporting exercises available to employees. Among the examples mentioned, two resources implemented by the city of Graz with its employees were very successful:
> a brochure on physical activities and gestures to adopt in the work station, including, as a bonus, advice on preparing healthy meals.
> a “health pack” consisting of a programme with a list of exercises which could be done during a short break “at work”.

In addition to setting up schemes, there are other key elements to adopting an active lifestyle.

 

Advice for being and staying active

Stefanie Stebegg, coach in health performance, and Roman Heinzle, Director General of Moveeffect, have studied various motivation methods through an in-depth cost-benefit analysis. Two important notions emerged: time and motivation.

To be active on a daily basis, Stefanie Stebegg’s recommendations are:

1 – define individual needs clearly.

2 – develop long-term habits by setting small challenges in order to make steady progress towards the objective.

3 – ensure visibility for success doing activities on the way to reaching the objective.

4 – find allies in the field of sport.

She also advises the principle of “nudging” in the workplace, defined as gentle encouragement towards physical activity. For example, by putting encouraging posters up in offices.

 

A rewarding outcome

The city of Graz representatives were very pleased with the many exchanges during the course of this workshop, for as they made clear, “we learn from each other”. As for Evaleo, they underlined the importance of involving businesses as well as employees in integrating sport in the workplace.

 

[1] – https://www.sports.gouv.fr/faire-du-sport-en-milieu-professionnel-un-levier-strategique-du-developpement-de-l-activite

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