Please see below for all the latest News from our Teams and Individuals registered on the website :
- Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust
The challenge is well underway now in Southport and Ormskirk with a free golf taster session on offer at Southport Golf Academy for all staff to see if they like golf. We also have supervised exercise sessions in our Spinal Unit swimming pool available. Watch this space for further developments within the Trust.
The Wellbeing Team had a great day on Saturday 11th May supporting a health and fitness event in Heaton Park with Operation Fitness. "Boot camps" are really popular with our staff and a great way to keep your motivation up!
Workforce Workfit 2013 Cycling Challenge takes off this weekend
This weekend over fifty north east businesses and NHS organisations are putting the pedal to the metal to compete in the region’s first Workforce Workfit Cycling Challenge. Teams will be in Eldon Square and Metro Centre to pit their strength in an exciting static bike time trial. In partnership with Storck high performance cycles and Alchemist Fitness personal trainers, NHS North East aims to get more people off the sofa and onto their bikes in 2013. Bradley Wiggins lookalike Fergus Hegarty will kick things off at 10am on Saturday at Eldon Square with his own team race.
Architects, Tax Inspectors, teachers, nurses, postmen, ambulance workers, council staff, retailers and even the Royal Marines are all taking part in this fantastic event. Each cyclist in the team will have five minutes on a high performance static bike fitted with a Tacx Turbo Trainer which will take them through some spectacular ‘virtual’ scenery. Each team’s total will then be added to the leader board (aka Top Gear) At the end of the weekend the two teams who have travelled the furthest will win the Cycle Challenge Prize.
Cycle Challenge Prize. • The winners will have a special VIP experience in the beautiful Northumberland countryside riding a high performance Storck road bike. The ride will start at the Forge Arts Centre, Allendale and cover a 25 mile loop, finishing back at the Forge Café where the legendary ‘cyclist pies lunch’ will be served. Each winner will also receive a Storck Goody bag of cycle clothing and accessories. The winners will also get free entry into the Bike for Bobby Cycle Sportif next summer. Alchemist Fitness personal trainers will be on hand to offer specialist advice and a sports specific exercise programme for cyclists. There will also be lots of other information about routes, cycling products and how to get started if you’d like to do more cycling in the New Year - whatever someone’s fitness level.
Elaine Wilson who has been this year’s NHS Olympic Ambassador said: “This is going to be a fantastic weekend of cycling activity and just goes to show that North East employers do support their staff it getting Workforce Workfit for the future!” Prof Eugene Milne Deputy Regional Director of Public Health said:
“Cycling is one of the best possible ways of keeping fit and integrating activity into busy lives, whether it is done vigorously as a sport or as a comfortable, casual and convenient mode of travel. We are seeing a boom in the popularity of cycling right now, with the sporting giants of Team GB and Team Sky providing a spectacular lead. Never before in the UK have cycling greats been such household names. The Workforce Workfit Cycling Challenge is a great opportunity to be part of that movement - one that we hope will continue to make cycling an increasing part of healthy and sustainable lives. NHS North East is delighted to lend its support to the participating teams.”
North East staff test out new health monitor As part of the NHS 2012 Challenge, a few lucky staff at the North East Health Authority have has the chance to test out a new state of the art fitness monitor produced by Optima Life. The monitor is an advance on other cardio monitors as it is very light weight and can be worn easily under clothes over an extended period of time to monitor the hearts reaction to the ups and downs of daily life and give in depth feedback on how fit you are. The Firstbeat Bodyguard is an exciting new advance in heart rate measurement technology. It provides professionals with a highly accurate measuring device with up to two weeks memory capacity. And for the user, it is unobtrusive and very comfortable. The unique attachment method using two snap on electrodes, eliminates the need to wear a belt around the body. This allows high quality recordings both day and night. The sensor can record up to five days of continuous heartbeat data, is smaller than a matchbox and is highly accurate. After wearing the monitor for three days (72 hours) and filling in an online diary recording periods of exercise, stress, sleep and other activity the data can be downloaded and a report produced which gives detailed feedback on how you react to stress, how quickly you recover from physical activity and how well you are sleeping. A professional will then go through the report with you and help you to set your own individual goals to increase your fitness levels. Alix Borthwick Workforce Communications lead at the Strategic Health authority said: “ The monitor was easy to wear and the insight report and discussion made me really think about my health and fitness. For me, the most important thing was that the whole experience was very motivational and made want to improve.” Ed Young who also tried the bodyguard agreed: “I got feedback that I was exercising and listening to music too late at night which was affecting my sleep patterns. I know I need to step up my activity to at least 30 minutes three times day if I want to make a difference to my fitness.” Simon Shephard from Optima Life who produce the monitors said: “We have supported the NHS 2012 Challenge from day one. Optima-life specialises in the connections between sport, health and work and helps individuals and organisations understand how the principles used in elite sports performance can be just as effective in delivering a work force that aims for high level productivity and performance.” Elaine Wilson the Olympic Ambassador for NHs northeast said: “ When I realised Optima were looking for volunteers I thought it would be great to have some of our staff who are taking part in our Workforce Workfit Challenge to test it out. Different things motivate different people but I think the detailed data you get from the Optima bodyguard is a very effective incentive.”
A guide to getting your workforce Fitter London 2012 is just around the corner. The Olympics are a great catalyst to try and get people in your organisation involved in more physical activity. Sometimes it’s hard to drum up enthusiasm in the ranks but the chances of doing this successfully can be greatly increased by following a few social marketing rules which encourage positive behaviour change. Elaine Wilson a north east social marketing consultant, has masterminded an award winning ‘Workforce Workfit’ programme for our north east Strategic Health Authority, and within six months over 60% of staff are now engaged in one or more fun fitness activity. Here are her top tips for our Great North Fitness Revolution to help your business achieve a leaner, fitter, happier workforce. 1. Involve your staff in designing the programme from the beginning – create a buzz about the new activities 2. Give people a choice of classes, teams or fitness sessions from the outset and let them to vote on their favourite options. 3. Look for staff with fitness expertise within the organisation to champion -or deliver - activities. 4. Always ask staff what the best time to do activities is for them. Is lunchtime good or better straight after work? 5. Use workplace premises wherever possible to save on costs and travel (do you have a board room which isn’t used all the time?) 6. Find out if there is budget to subsidise activities to start with or whether staff would be prepared to contribute themselves. 7. Make sure you try out the activities yourself first so you are speaking from experience. 8. Check that instructors have the right kind of personality to encourage people with different levels of fitness. 9. Give staff regular updates about how things are going and make sure some of the activity is competitive. 10. Ask for regular feedback from staff taking part - and make sure you listen to it! For more information contact Elaine Wilson on 07733235113 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
North East SHA Receive Top 2012 Award
The North East Strategic Health Authority picked up a national Gold award this week from Olympic Gold medallist Jonathan Edwards in recognition of their work with the NHS 2012 ‘Workforce Workfit’ staff fitness challenge. The award was presented at NHS HQ in London from Jonathan and NHS Chief Executive Sir David Nicholson.
Staff at the Strategic Health Authority began getting off their chairs and into action in June of this year and now more than 60% of staff are engaged in activities such Boot camp, Zumba, Ju Jitsu and Pilates. Classes are offered straight after work and there is also a team pedometer challenge which is proving extremely popular. Reports and comparison charts are issued weekly so that staff can view their progress compared to other teams and individuals.
At the start of the programme staff were mainly office bound, very few left the building during the day and some did not even leave their desks at lunchtime for more than a few minutes. Many did little or no exercise at all, and the objective of the Challenge was to provide a menu of physical activities that staff would enjoy and find it easy to engage with in order to improve the fitness of the workforce, raise morale and enable staff to cope better with the stress at a time of uncertainty. To maximise the chances of success, staff were first surveyed as to their preferences and everyone was asked to vote on a variety of activities, times and venues to make sure that the usual barriers to participating (sometimes known as excuses!) could be addressed. From that feedback, the winning programme was put together. Sessions are all held on site straight after work and anyone can take part no matter what their level of fitness. Senior management gave a commitment to let people leave their desks a few minutes early to be ready to participate and staff can now be found doing lunges on the grass verge on a Monday at Boot camp, getting in touch with their Latin side at Zumba on Wednesdays or brushing up their self-defence skills at Ju Jitsu on Thursdays. In addition to the classes there are now over 120 people competing in teams of six for the pedometer challenge, walking ‘virtual’ routes – initially from Land’s End to John O’Groats and now, more exotically, from Paris to Istanbul, following the route of the Orient Express. The canteen staff (who are in their own team named Carry on Catering) are putting on themed meals as the walkers pass through each virtual country and individual mileage leaders and team leaders have flags around their work stations indicating they are the front runners.
Elaine Wilson who devised the programme said: “Because staff were involved in choosing and designing the programme themselves, there was already a very high engagement and interest in it. There was a great deal of ‘water cooler’ chat generated about who had done Boot camp or Zumba and where they were aching the most! “
Jackie Turnbull, a project co coordinator at the SHA said:
“I am really enjoying the activities, it’s easy to take part straight after work and the atmosphere in the office has improved. People are talking to people they’ve never talked to before about how they are getting on – not just about work!” The programme of activities has now been extended to cover the staff of the North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) who occupy the building next door - even the Zumba instructor is also a part time ambulance dispatcher!
SHA Joins Workforce Workfit Challenge
As part of the NHS's 2012 Olympic challenge commitment to their staff, NHS organisations across the north east are investing in a wide variety of activity programmes to get their staff fitter and better to able to cope during challenging times.
The north east strategic health authority, based at Newburn Riverside business park, has over 200 staff who are office based. Prior to the Workforce Workfit challenge, many of the staff did little or no exercise at all.
Everyone was asked to vote on a variety of activities, times and venues to make sure that the usual barriers (sometimes known as excuses!) to participating could be addressed, and from that a programme was put together and promoted through the internal newsletter.
Two months down the line and over 50% of all staff are now participating and sessions have even been opened up to staff from the Ambulance Service HQ which is next door.
Sessions all start at 5pm so that people don't have to travel off site and senior management have given a commitment to let staff leave their desks a few minutes early to be ready to participate.
The sessions have been designed so that anyone can take part no matter what their level of fitness.
Staff can now be found doing lunges on the grass verge on a Monday at bootcamp, getting in touch with their latin side at Zumba on Wednesdays or brushing up their self defence skills at Ju Jitsu on Thursdays.
The most popular activity has been the pedometer challenge with staff competing in teams across the organisation or doing 'virtual walk' individual challenges along Hadrian's Wall or even from Land's End to John O'groats with progress being plotted on a map of the UK in the staff canteen.
Jackie Turnbull, a project co ordinator at the SHA is one of the staff who has noticed the difference:
"I am really enjoying the activities, it's easy to take part straight after work and the atmosphere in the office has improved. People are talking to people they've never talked to before about how they are getting on, not just about work"