At the end of September 2021, ukactive in partnership with Sport England, launched a consultation on workplace physical activity opportunities and support for small to medium sized enterprises (SME’s) and small businesses. Although SME’s make up 98-99% of the workforce, workplace physical activity solutions tend to be centred around larger corporate offers , and less is known about what is needed to support smaller businsses to be active through their working days. The overarching aim of this research project was to understand more about the physical activity opportunities and support in place for SME’s, in addition to barriers and challenges to engaging in physical activity during working hours or putting opportunties in place. The consultation also aimed to understand what further support SME’s might need to support their employees to be active and who this should come from. An important part of the consultation was to capture the perspectives from across individuals working in small businesses and SME’s, individuals working across the fitness and leisure sector to support SME’s to be active, and wider stakeholders who may be supporting or influencing workpace physical activity.
Data was collected from aross these audiences utilising a mixed-methods approach, combining quantitative survey data and qualitative focus group data to develop key themes, then shaped into recommendations targetted toward SME’s, the fitness and leisure sector and wider stakeholders, to highlight what needs to be done to better understand and continue to support employee’s of SME’s to be active at work. These recommendations will Identify steps that relevant businesses can take towards supporting improved workplace physical activity levels of their employees as well as key insight for and steps that the fitness and leisure sector can take to maintain, improve or expand their offerings to support SME & businesses with workplace physical activity implementation.