Over one million adults are in employment in Greater Manchester and nearly one in four of them is inactive.

Workplaces then are a great way for GM Moving and our partners to reach a key audience and continue building activity into everyday life.

With 60% of our waking hours spent at work, for many more than half of their day is sedentary and these levels of inactivity are a real cause for concern.

Inactive staff have reduced workplace productivity and are at increased risk of health problems; 1.7% of working days in GM are lost each year to sickness and absence, with an estimated statutory sick pay cost to employers in our region of £90m.

It is therefore essential that employers support their staff to move more during the working day for both their employees’ and business’ health.

By increasing activity in the workplace, we can build more opportunities to move more, each day, into people’s lives.

The Benefits

We know there are many ways an active lifestyle is beneficial; it supports physical and mental wellbeing, reduces health problems and decreases stress levels.

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The financial benefits of workplace activity are also clear to see. 

For employers, physically active employees take 27% less sick days than those who are inactive. For employees, just 90 minutes of activity per week during working hours can translate to increased earnings of 7.5%e 

An increasing number of employers are seeing the benefits of a physically active workforce and are taking steps to enable physical activity at work. We know why staff need to move more and GM Moving partners across the city-region have some great ideas and offers of support to help employers to achieve this.

Community of Practice

Dr Sohail Munshi, Chief Medical Officer at Manchester Local Care Organisation explains why an active workplace is so important.

Throughout 2024, GM Moving are working with partners to deliver a series of Community of Practices to support the development of active workplaces. To contribute and/or attend any of the sessions, contact Active Adults Lead Julia Skelly.

Active Workplaces Community of Practice dates:

  • Thursday 11 July, 10:00 – 11:30 – Language, Messaging and Framing.
  • Tuesday 15 October, 13:00 – 14:30 – Measuring Impact and Learning.
  • Wednesday 22 January, 10:00 – 10:30– Influencing Stakeholders, Senior Leaders, and Culture.

A review of our first Community of Practice from January is available here.

Active Workplaces toolkit

This Active Workplace Toolkit from GM Moving has been designed to support Greater Manchester’s employers to encourage and enable staff to build movement into their working day to help create happier, healthier workplaces.

Physical activity plays a vital role in supporting you and your colleagues with health and wellbeing; whether it’s mental health, musculoskeletal conditions, sleep or stress.

Every small, simple change that supports someone to move more throughout a working day, or on their commute to work, can improve health and wellbeing and lead to increased productivity and reduced absenteeism.

Active Soles

Active Soles is a movement which gives everyone the freedom to wear shoes that they're more able to move in.

Flat, comfortable shoes or trainers enable and encourage people to move more, and moving more has a positive impact on our work - as we have outlined above. We can all do great work in our active soles.

Active Soles is here to help you find your way to move more, every day - whether it is walking or wheeling. It is here to help everyone feel better and invite others to join our movement.


Read more about how Active Soles launched in Greater Manchester here.

Read Hayley Lever's blog on what we've learned about movement building through Active Soles.

Get Involved

Join GM Mayor Andy Burnham, NHS GM's Warren Heppolette, and many others within the #ActiveSoles movement by getting your active soles on and encouraging those around you to do the same. 

Whether it's adding a walking meeting to your diary or stretching your legs during a lunch break, all movement counts and it's so much easier with #ActiveSoles. 

Share your stories using the hashtag #ActiveSoles and tag in @GMMoving

Latest News

All News

Join GM Moving and Salford University webinar on strength-based activity messaging

By GM Moving | 31 May 2024

Join the webinar on Thursday 20 June to hear about new comms guidance designed to support leisure providers, workplaces, and the health sector.

GM Moving and Salford University researcher highlight importance of strength-training

By Salford University | 03 April 2024

The first ever Strength-Training Awareness Day on Thursday 4 April aims to raise the profile of strength training with positive stories on social media using the hashtag #StrongEnough.

How can active workplaces embrace spring for employee wellbeing?

By GM Moving | 01 April 2024

As spring arrives, let's shake off the cobwebs of winter and embrace moving more to feel better