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By Anna Davison, Head of Workplace Wellbeing

The morale, health and wellbeing of our workforces has never been more important for all businesses; both those within our own sector and those that we support on their activity journey. The different paths taken by various businesses over the past few months will have presented a wide variety of different challenges and there is no doubt that the uncertainty is here to stay for now; but one thing that is certain is that fitness can unite us.

At an individual level, we know is that there has been shift in personal attitudes towards being active during the COVID-19 pandemic, and it’s more important than ever that workplaces support their employees to be more active. Recent research from Sport England showed that, as lockdown eases, people want to be more active, but 32% believe that coming out of lockdown will make this harder.

Whatever the size, type or working environment of your organisation, getting involved with an active challenge can be the perfect way to engage your team, boost morale and support your team to maintain or start new healthy habits. Whether you are a ukactive member or an organisation from another sector, there will be something rewarding that you can try on National Fitness Day, which takes place on Wednesday 23 September (during the Great British Week of Sport).

This year National Fitness Day will demonstrate the inclusive power physical activity has by celebrating how ‘Fitness Unites Us’. Coming together (in-person or virtually) to be active is a great way to overcome the myriad of challenges we face across society and we want to champion the role that workplaces can play in supporting better community cohesion through physical activity, sport and exercise.

New for National Fitness Day 2020 is a digital toolkit specifically for workplaces, which is designed to help any type of business come up with their own approach to the day. Your National Fitness Day can be whatever you want it to be – all workplaces are different so it’s time to get creative.

Whether you are bringing team members back from a period of furlough, returning to a location after a period of home working, looking to boost morale and collaboration, looking to do something for charity or simply hoping to have some fun, our ideas booklet will have something that I hope will resonate with you and spark some creative ideas that will work for your team.

The toolkit includes simple actions you can take to boost staff activity on the day, such as encouraging active travel or holding moving meetings. There are posters that you can use within your organisation and an ideas booklet full of things that you can do, ranging from giving a longer lunch break for activity, to a full-day charity challenge.

We also encourage ukactive members to reach out to your local community via workplaces and encourage them to attend your local events or make the most of your digital offering. Share the link for them to download the toolkit, supporting them with tips about how to include options from the activity finder into different types of working day.

And why not add some fun with your own teams via a virtual challenge while celebrating all things fitness with your members on the day? For example, if you have five locations in the UK, you could set your team a challenge to travel between all the different locations virtually on the day (by running or cycling, for example) and you could even make it a race if you think that’s what will motivate your people. Make it inclusive by including lots of types of activity and involve everyone from the gym floor to those working remotely.

We’ve also been working closely with the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) by supporting the development of a hub on their website to provide a range of simple resources and inspiration to help businesses be more active. We are working closely with them to engage small businesses with National Fitness Day and I hope September will be the perfect time for all types of businesses to find the wellbeing-boosting idea that will work for them.

Whether it’s a company-wide plank every hour, a team step challenge or giving all staff a free hour to do something for their own wellbeing, everything counts, so make it your own and unite your team through fitness on Wednesday 23 September.

Get your workplace involved in NFD in just a few simple steps:

  • Visit the registration page to sign-up your workplace and download the free digital toolkit.
  • Decide what you want to do on the day.
  • Take part in the UK’s biggest celebration of fitness on Wednesday 23 September, or choose any day during the Great British Week of Sport (19-27 September).
  • Share what you are doing on social media using #fitnessday and #fitness2me, so we can celebrate with you.