10 Aug 2006

When Caerphilly Council’s Health Development team asked employees what they wanted to see in a workplace physical activity programme, they were inundated with suggestions. From team sports to talks from health professionals, council staff came up with a range of ideas for workplace activity coordinators to act on. Pilates Class

Two new lunchtime classes are now set to start up as a result. Both are aimed at overcoming some of the barriers to exercise identified in the employee questionnaire, including work commitments, lack of time, family commitments and distance to facilities.

Proving popular in the survey, yoga and line dancing sessions will be offered to all staff in the rugby club next to the main council offices from September. Community Chest funding from the Sports Council for Wales will help cover start up costs, including instructor payment, music and essential equipment.

The new classes complement the existing walking and jogging sessions currently operating from the main council offices, with another new club due to start within Ystrad Mynach hospital. Staff will be encouraged to keep up with the sessions throughout the winter months, with an ‘umbrella pool’ available for everybody to use during bad weather.

The team are also hoping to act other popular requests made in the questionnaire, including health screening, showers and changing areas in council sites, pool bikes and bike racks and inter department physical activity challenges.

With some 9,500 staff the employed at the council, they are hopeful of making a dent in activity levels in the county borough by encouraging more employees to make the most of the breaks in their workday.