Creating an active workplace

Creating an active workplace can transform health, wellbeing and morale.

You’re here, which means at least one person in your workplace wants to shake things up. That’s a great start. So here’s a step-by-step guide to get your workplace moving.

Energise Me's story

We champion physical activity but we’re often glued to our desks. So we made three changes to create a happier, healthier and stronger team.

Adding a physical activity goal to our annual reviews has encouraged regular chats about movement and self-care.

Taking turns to lead Tuesday Takeover activities after meetings has helped us move as a team.

And being encouraged to work flexibly has made it easier to exercise and improve productivity. Lunchtime classes and daylight runs spread out the day in a positive way.

Start with a chat

Active workplace initiatives work best when people are on board from the start. Begin with a chat about wellbeing and take it from there.

Starting with a quiz like Five Ways to Wellbeing or the Sitting Calculator can spark useful conversations. Invite colleagues to do the quiz before coming together to talk about wellbeing. This can prompt observations, reflections and motivation to help shape plans.

Five Ways to Wellbeing quiz

This 2-minute quiz enables employees to measure their wellbeing.

Visit site

Sitting Calculator

Calculate how long you spend sitting per day with the Get Britain Standing calculator.

Visit site

Bring in the experts

Particularly if you work in a larger organisation, you may want to bring in experts to help engage staff. From charity-led wellbeing days to online tools and resources, there are a wide range of services available to help. Hop over to Workplace training and support for details.

Recruit workplace champions

Like any project or significant change, creating an active workplace takes energy and leadership. But anyone can take the lead.

Active workplace champions encourage and support colleagues to move more. They can arrange activities or make small changes to your work environment. Invite people from across your organisation to volunteer. A mix of those who love being active and those who struggle with physical activity often works well.

If you can do big things... because you’re an employer, a politician, a headteacher... any kind of leader… ask yourself with every decision and policy you make… does this enable people to move more?

Hayley Lever, GM Moving

Make simple changes

Simple changes to your environment or culture can make a big difference to employee wellbeing. For example, you might pledge to replace one meeting per week with a walking meeting. You might introduce signage to encourage people to use the stairs. Or you might join us in making wellbeing a goal in your annual reviews.

GM Moving launched the #ActiveSoles movement to encourage people to wear trainers to work. Take a look at this Active Soles blog by Hayley Lever to see the impact a small change can make.

Join a campaign

Joining in with a national campaign can create a buzz around being active at work. Get Britain Standing and National Fitness Day are backed by businesses. Join in to get your workplace moving more. But don’t restrict yourselves to just one day. View it as the start of something bigger. And share your stories with us so we can sing your praises.

On Your Feet Britain Day

Workers across Britain unite together and participate in a variety of fun and simple activities to #SitLess and #MoveMore at work.

Visit site

National Fitness Day

Get your workplace up and moving on National Fitness Day by attending a local activity or arranging one of your own at work.

Visit site

Model behaviour

Leaders can make a huge difference by modelling healthy behaviours. Wear trainers to work and show people that it’s OK. Go for lunchtime walks. Lead walking meetings. And tell people how these things impact your work and your wellbeing. Whatever your role, you can be a leader that inspires people to be active at work.

Read next

Workplace training and support

Gain help from experts to improve health and wellbeing at work.

People standing with their arms in the air at work

Getting active at work

Discover ways to improve your wellbeing and get active at work.

Person looking at fitness app

Fitness apps and technology

Using apps and technology can help motivate us to move more.

Our Partners

Helping us tackle inactivity to boost health and happiness

Subscribe to our newsletter

Get energising ideas direct to your inbox