Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham has reiterated his support for the #ActiveSoles movement which encourages workplaces to embrace movement as part of their working day.
In a video message published by GM Moving, the Mayor highlighted the immediate mental health benefits he’s seen amongst GMCA staff since the #ActiveSoles movement began in 2019.
#ActiveSoles is a grassroots movement to change the way we think about workwear, to inspire and support more workplaces to embrace shoes, and other clothing, you can move in.
This encourages everyone to move more during the working day, something that is known to be good for productivity, social connections, and reducing staff sickness and absences.
The Mayor also believes a switch to more active workwear will support greater use of the BeeNetwork with more people wheeling, walking, or running the start, middle, or end of journeys.
Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said:
“I’m a long-standing advocate for #ActiveSoles. It’s an easy way to help change our culture to one that embraces moving more.
“Moving more, every day, is one of the most immediate ways you can lift your mood, feel more able to cope with things, and feel better today and every day.
“In your #ActiveSoles you can wheel, walk, or run the start, middle, or end of your journey on our better-integrated public transport system. #ActiveSoles makes moving part of the joy of your journey.”
#ActiveSoles, a campaign also supported by public health teams in Cardiff, is a key part of Greater Manchester Moving’s newly refreshed Active Workplaces toolkit, launched earlier this month.
The toolkit supports employers to promote wellbeing as a workplace priority to create positive, active environments which boosts employee engagement and contributes to organisational performance.
Strategic Lead for Active Adults at GM Moving, Claire Marshall, said:
“Moving more has so many benefits in terms of physical and mental health and, for businesses, helps create a healthier, happier, and more vibrant workforce.
“#ActiveSoles, wearing shoes you can move in, is a really simple starting point and makes it so much easier to incorporate meetings on the move and active travel into our day, especially when the evenings are dark.
“I really hope the refreshed Active Workplaces toolkit, available on the GM Moving website, will give employees and employers lots of inspiration, tips, and advice on moving more throughout the working day.”
GM Moving CEO, Hayley Lever, added:
“Wearing my #ActiveSoles throughout the day felt odd a few years back, now it’s normal because I want and need to move regularly to be at my best and support others to do the same.
“What we wear changes the way we think and can change our behaviour too. We saw that when #ActiveSoles began as a movement in 2019 and we want to see that grow even further now.
“It’s brilliant to have the mayor’s continued support and similarly from colleagues in Wales who believe in #ActiveSoles. We’ll continue to work closely with all our supporters to expand the movement.”
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.