Staying Healthy At Work Week

12 October 2010, 14:05 | Updated: 12 October 2010, 14:17

Events are taking place in Suffolk and Norfolk to make sure we keep healthy - even when we are working.

There's been an event in Norwich today so businesses can find out how to get their staff to stay healthy at work

NHS Norfolk and NHS East of England organised a road show, at The Forum, to demonstrate how easy it can be to make workplaces healthier.

Justine Hottinger, NHS Norfolk's Workplace Health Programme Lead, said: "The road show has been organised to show employers how easy it can be to create a healthier workplace.

"By investing in the wellbeing of staff, both the workforce and the organisation can reap significant rewards. Businesses can reduce the cost of sickness absence, staff turnover and recruitment and improve productivity, corporate image and staff health and wellbeing. Good health is good for business."

Lucy Macleod, NHS Norfolk's Consultant in Public Health added: "We spend a good proportion of our lives at work, so it is essential that we keep ourselves as healthy as possible during that time.

"Being more active now could help you reduce your risk of developing serious illnesses like heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers in the future.

"We have had a great response from employers to previous workplace health events, and we hope they will support this one too. It has been designed to be fun, interactive and informative, and there will plenty of tips on how to achieve a healthier workplace now and in the future."

Meanwhile, workers from across Suffolk are being challenged to get together with colleagues and walk their way to better health by covering one million steps in a month.

The competition, organised by Healthy Ambitions Suffolk, is open to teams of five workmates from any business in the county. To hit the target, each member will need to walk at least 10,000 steps on five days of the week for four consecutive weeks.

As well as helping people to get more active by reaching the recommended 10,000 steps a day, the challenge has also been designed to promote teamwork while raising awareness of the importance of staying active in the workplace.

"The main focus of Healthy Ambitions Suffolk is to encourage people to make those small changes which can have a massive impact on overall health," said Rebecca Hams, Healthy Ambitions Suffolk project officer.

"Walking more often is a perfect way of doing just that - and is the ideal exercise for so many different reasons. Not only is it free, but it's also an easy way to increase your levels of activity. It's also the perfect excuse to get out and about and enjoy some of Suffolk's beautiful countryside and coastlines which, in turn, can have a positive effect on mental health.

We hope that as many of Suffolk's businesses as possible will register a team and rise to the challenge of walking one million steps while enjoying all of the health benefits associated with getting more active at the same time."

Top tips for staying active and adding extra steps to your working day include:

·         use the stairs instead of the lift

·         go and see colleagues and pass on messages face to face rather than using the phone or email

·         try walking all or some of the way to work, or getting off the bus a stop earlier

·         go out for a walk at lunchtime

Anyone who is interested in registering a team to take part in the challenge can go to and fill in the online application form. They will then be sent a welcome pack, which includes five pedometers, to get them started.

The challenge can then be completed on any four consecutive weeks between Monday 18 October and Tuesday 30 November. Team leaders will need to visit the website once a week to enter the total number of steps covered by all five members on the leader board.

The winning team will be awarded their prize in December.