Derbyshire tops national workplace sport scheme

NEWS: News.
NEWS: News.

Derbyshire workers have embraced the Workplace Challenge – a national programme to encourage employees to get more active - with more people signing up to the scheme in Derbyshire than in almost any other part of the country.

More than 1,000 people and 180 workplaces in Derbyshire have so far signed up to the Workplace Challenge, with only Norfolk and Lincolnshire seeing more people taking part.

The programme is being rolled out nationally by the County Sports Partnership Network (CSP Network) in collaboration with the British Heart Foundation Health at Work programme, to encourage workers to lead more active lifestyles.

With enthusiasm for the Derbyshire Workplace Challenge high, workers have so far logged more than 22,000 activities over more than 18,000 hours.

The University of Derby are also leading the way nationally within the education sector in terms of staff signed up to the Workplace Challenge with more than 200 employees taking part so far – second only to Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

Prof John Coyne, Vice Chancellor of the University of Derby, said: “We have a philosophy at the university that we want our staff to be ‘happy, healthy and here’. A contented workforce - in what is an ultimate people business, running a university - is vital to us and we want to give our staff every opportunity to look after their personal wellbeing. Fitness and activity is a good part of that.”

Anyone can sign up to the Derbyshire Workplace Challenge for free at the website and can earn points by logging details of any

sport or physical activity which they take part in. Each time an activity such as walking, cycling or swimming is logged via the Workplace Challenge website points are earned.

The first eight-week challenge began on January 6 and runs until March 2 and aims to help participants stay motivated and become more active and stay active.

There are now just two weeks to go, and the workplace with the highest number of points at the end of the Workplace Challenge will be crowned the winner. A number of spot prizes are also on offer throughout the challenge.

Angela Kirkham, Active Lifestyles Development Officer at Derbyshire Sport, said: “The Workplace Challenge has really captured the imagination of workplaces across Derbyshire to be more active in a competitive yet fun way.

“Participants don’t have to be sporty and fit to join in, any activity can be logged. This could include walking or cycling to work, going for a lunchtime swim or gym class, or going for a jog or playing football with friends or colleagues after work.

“Anecdotally we know that the Derbyshire Workplace Challenge has been helping to motivate people to do more physical activity than they would normally do, whatever level they started at, and that is really what this challenge is all about.”

Currently only 25.7per cent of people in Derbyshire take part in 3 x 30 minutes of regular physical activity per week, and the Derbyshire Workplace Challenge is part of the Active Derbyshire campaign for more people to achieve this, as a minimum, in 2014.

There is still time to sign up to the Derbyshire Workplace Challenge as activity can be logged retrospectively. The website will also remain live after March 2, and more challenges are planned.

Prizes on offer include a team building ropes session at Lea Green Learning and Development Centre, a three-month gym pass for use at one of North East Derbyshire District Council’s leisure centres, Derbyshire County Cricket Club match day tickets, Derby County Football Club match day tickets, and a meal for two at the Fox and Goose in Chesterfield.

DC Leisure has also donated a number of prizes including a five-day gym pass, free sports hall and badminton/squash court hire and free swim sessions, all of which can be used at either Ripley Leisure Centre, Alfreton Leisure Centre or William Gregg VC Leisure Centre in Heanor.

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