Getting Physical in the Workplace

NEWI staff discover the healthy balance

One-to-one support from sports centre staffWrexham-based health lecturers at The North East Wales Institute of Higher Education (NEWI) have found themselves practising what they preach.

The lecturers, who spend their working lives teaching the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, came to realise that they were driving back and fore to work and leading a sedentary life from 9 to 5.

Despite their prime position, working within the Plas Coch Sports Centre, the lecturers were self-confessed under-users of the facilities. But determined to lead by example, the 15 men and women volunteered themselves as guinea pigs for the Institute’s planned physical activity programme.

In September 06, NEWI’s HR department applied to the Sports Council for a £750 Community Chest grant. This paid for participants’ weekly one-to-one health and fitness consultations, resulting in a physical activity programme run in conjunction with a healthy eating plan.

With one-on-one support from sports centre staff, the participants have begun to change their behaviour, reporting weight loss, improved work performance and a boost to general health.

As the programme comes to an end, the lecturers are aiming to continue their healthy lifestyle while spreading the word to their colleagues. Nearly half the staff at NEWI need a physical boost - and the Institute is learning just how quickly active employees can raise their game.