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Politicians across the country have signed up to a new health challenge starting today (1 March), called ‘Fit for Office’, which encourages them to recognise the benefits of physical activity for themselves and the communities they serve.

More than 130 participants from around 50 offices have signed up for the month-long challenge so far, which will see MPs, Peers and their offices battle it out to be crowned Westminster’s ‘Physical Activity Champion’.

The challenge, organised by ukactive, the UK’s trade body for the physical activity sector, and supported by global fitness tracking provider Myzone, aims to raise awareness among policymakers of the benefits of physical activity for their own physical, mental and social wellbeing, and its importance to the nation’s health.

To complement the challenge, on Tuesday, parliamentarians were invited to Westminster Gym, which is managed by Jubilee Hall Trust, for a series of health checks with Dr Hussain Al-Zubaidi from ITV’s ‘This Morning’ programme, alongside Dr Shahnaz Hussain, Consultant Psychiatrist for Mental Health, and Dr Jo Fleming, NHS Health and Wellbeing Coach.

The sessions meant MPs, Peers and their staff could receive advice and simple steps within their workplace, to support their physical and mental health wellbeing.

The doctors provided support with any ongoing physical ailments, as well as sharing techniques to establish habits to support and maintain health and wellbeing, with visitors encouraged to sign-up for the ‘Fit For Office’ challenge.

Participants in the challenge will be given a MZ-Switch heart rate monitor that measures their physical activity across the month, with the technology tracking ‘effort’ levels rather than volume or distance covered – ensuring the challenge can be enjoyed and accessed by all.

They will then accrue Myzone Effort Points (MEPs) that can be collected by exercising within the target heart-rate zones over a given period – the more effort that is put into each workout or activity, the more points that can be earned.

It is hoped that by taking part, MPs will also be encouraged to show support for the physical activity sector, which plays an essential role in helping to prevent 20 chronic health conditions, including type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease, many types of cancer, depression and anxiety, and dementia – generating more than £4.1bn in healthcare savings every year.

Ill health among working-age people is projected to cost the UK economy approximately £150bn a year, and ukactive Chair, Mike Farrar has called on the Government to deploy gyms and leisure centres across the country to help save the NHS and get more people back into work.

Dr Hussain Al-Zubaidi, who is also the Lifestyle & Physical activity lead for the Royal College of General Practitioners, said: “I am really excited to help launch ‘Fit for Office,’ where MPs embrace a month-long fitness challenge with Myzone belts. Beyond just tracking steps, it’s a call for healthier MPs and stronger communities.

“We urge the Government to recognise the impact of the physical activity sector in tackling national priorities – reducing NHS wait times, addressing obesity, and preventing chronic conditions.

“Let’s use gyms and leisure centres to rebuild health, revive our workforce, and boost the economy. The challenge begins; let’s stride towards a fitter and resilient governance.”

Kim Leadbeater MP, who is taking part in the challenge, said: “Working in politics is a true privilege but like many jobs it is also very demanding, which can have a detrimental effect on our health and wellbeing.

“I am a firm believer in the benefits of physical activity for our physical and mental health, but also for our effectiveness at work.

“It’s great to take on the ‘Fit for Office’ challenge and I’ll also be hosting some workouts to help participants get involved and demonstrate how physical activity can support all of us in our day-to-day lives.”

Huw Edwards, CEO of ukactive, said: “‘Fit for Office’ is the perfect opportunity for MPs, Peers and their staff to embrace the benefits of physical activity for their own physical and mental wellbeing.

“The challenge will also help demonstrate to our elected officials the importance of physical activity for our nation’s health and the economy – the Government’s two biggest priorities.

“As the challenge gets underway, we want to see our politicians and their teams visiting their local gyms, leisure centres and pools to get active and witness first-hand the incredible role played by these facilities in our communities.”

David Stalker, Group CEO of Myzone, said: “The challenge has been set and we are looking forward to seeing how MPs, Peers and their teams across the UK get into the spirit of ‘Fit for Office’.

“We are committed to helping make physical activity a more enjoyable experience for all, and we wish all those taking part the very best of luck in what we know will be a great competition with an important message behind it.”

It’s not too late to sign up for ‘Fit for Office’ – simply email 

To engage your local MP to take part in the ‘Fit for Office’ challenge, see our template letter that you can send to them here. 

You can support the challenge on your own social media channels by using #FitForOffice or by checking out our templates.