Getting Physical in the Workplace

Pedal power in the Vale

Pedal power in the ValeNot content with encouraging residents in the Vale of Glamorgan to get out and get active, the county council’s leisure and tourism department wanted to see employees doing their bit.

With a clear mission to improve the health and wellbeing of staff, the council secured a £740 Community Chest grant to purchase six new mountain bikes for recreational and business use.

The bikes, plus helmets, locks and pumps, were bought in a bid to increase physical activity during the working day. And just as managers hoped, employees were soon using the bikes during lunch breaks and to travel to offsite meetings – a healthy (and low cost) alternative to hopping around by car.

Philip Carling, Chair of the Sports Council for Wales, commented: "This is a great example of how easy it can be for employers to encourage staff to incorporate physical activity into their day. It costs very little and delivers mutual benefits for employees and employers."

Council staff have now been equipped with high visibility reflective equipment, donated by Council Road Safety Officer John Rogers, who is supporting safe cycling schemes with other bike users in the Vale.

With an eager workforce supported by senior management in their quest for fitness, the scheme is making a clear difference at the Vale. Managers hope the bikes will benefit every employee in their Barry Dock office, giving staff a much-needed health boost and setting a clear example to the local community.