Colleagues from Greater Manchester, England, Wales, and Scotland came together at a new Active Workplaces Community of Practice last week (31 January).
The Community of Practice (CoP) aims to grow a movement which supports workplaces to design moving into everyday working life, increasing employee activity levels and improving wellbeing.
More than 60 people attended with the group eager to build on existing work and approaches that support Active Workplaces across the Active Partnership Network nationally.
The online event coincided with a celebration of #ActiveSoles on social media, demonstrating the positive impact a small change, like workwear you can move in, has on employees and employers.
Greater Manchester Mayor, Andy Burnham, continues to support the campaign.
GM Moving, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, Cardiff Metropolitan University and Actif North Wales, initiated the Community of Practice after almost a year of growing connections between the organisations.
After attending the GM Moving conference in February 2023, colleagues in Wales came together to launch #ActiveSoles that summer to build on the grassroots campaign which had begun in GM in 2019.
A three-day Spread and Scale workshop brought GM and Welsh colleagues together again united by a desire to see more workplaces design moving into daily life, with #ActiveSoles as an initial hook.
Moving is vital for workplaces as it improves mood, self-confidence, social opportunities and reduces symptoms of musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions and other long-term health conditions.
Data also shows that active staff have higher retention rates, fewer sick days, feel less isolated, are more productive, and stronger as a united team.
GM Moving Strategic Director, Beth Sutcliffe, said:
“It was fantastic to see so many colleagues from across England, Scotland and Wales join us to hear more about our journey to date and contribute towards the road we have ahead.
“Moving more every day makes us all feel better and there’s so many benefits for both the employer and their employees and #ActiveSoles is a really easy starting point.
“It’s great to have the mayor’s continued support for #ActiveSoles which we think is a fantastic way for employers and employees to start a conversation around moving more every day.”
Join the conversation on social media #ActiveSoles.
Prior to the training, many non-medical/community-facing staff didn't feel confident in discussing movement and physical activity within their work.
Across England, sports clubs and organisations are being supported by a new network of Sport Welfare Officers. They have been recruited by Active Partnerships and funded by Sport England through an investment of National Lottery money.