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Many jobs today involve low levels of physical activity, with employees spending long periods of time seated in front of a computer or operating machinery.  In addition to this, many New Zealanders spend more than 50 hours a week at work, leaving limited time for physical activity outside of the workplace. This time restriction is often identified as a barrier to participation in physical activity by New Zealand workers.

Why should physical activity be promoted in the workplace?

  • Research indicates that employees who are physically active on a regular basis report more energy, greater morale, and improved job satisfaction.

  • Research also highlights a link between an active workforce and cost saving outcomes, such as reduced absenteeism, reduced turnover, and improved productivity.

  • It is good for all of us!  In addition to increasing physical fitness, physical activity is associated with a reduced risk of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, depression, and a number of cancers.

How can workplaces help?

There are many ways workplaces can assist employees to be more physically active, such as: 

  • Encouraging employees to bike or walk to work or meetings where possible.

  • Encouraging walking meetings.

  • Providing shower facilities to enable employees to freshen up before settling into their work.

  • Providing storage facilities to house bicycles and other personal gear.

For more information about physical activity and the workplace, visit our WorkWell website where you can access free resources, tools and assistance.

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