Trainers walking

"We work out in meeting rooms"

Have you ever thought of doing a workout in a meeting room?

Often, if you manage to find time to move your body during the day, it might be a walk or a run during your lunchbreak.

But some workplaces are taking that up a notch, using home workout videos in the office, or buddying up with colleagues to keep each other accountable.

Many of us spend so much of our lives at work, so how can we ensure we're improving our wellbeing while we're there?

We spoke to Eleanor Dalton, Internal Communications and Engagement Executive at Affinity Water, who speaks about how 100s of people in the company have been using The Body Coach app to stay fit at work.

Wondering how they do it? We asked for more.

What inspired you to get The Body Coach app for employees at work?

We got it back in November 2023 – we’d seen it advertised and decided to go for around 500 subscriptions! We’re a company of around 1,500, with a mix of roles including desk, operational, and a contact centre. We put out the subscriptions as first-come, first-served and they almost all got filled straight away!

We’ve got a head of health, safety and wellbeing – he has an ex-RAF background and his passion is getting people moving and exercising as much as possible. We knew from PE With Joe in lockdown that home workouts were really popular, and we felt like there was something for everyone with his app.

We do a live event conference each quarter across the business and used that to launch The Body Coach app at Affinity using a video Joe kindly recorded for us. We followed up with people signing up and there was a real buzz around it on the call – lots of clap emojis!

How do you help incorporate the app into working life?

We have tried lots of different ways to encourage people to use the app and reap the benefits from it. One of those has been group workouts at lunchtimes – we put one of the workouts on the big screens in the conference room so people can come along and join in. Lunchtime workouts can be hard to do on your own, but it’s nice if someone else does it with you!

We’ve also advertised specific workout series to specific networks – for example, we had an uptake on users because of the menopause workouts, which we shared with our women’s network.

The nutrition side of the app has been really useful for us. We do a ‘Well Over Winter’ campaign and all employees get a thermal mug. We advertised links to soup recipes within the app, as well as things that can be reheated and kept in the thermal mug. We’ve also cooked some recipes from the app in the staff canteen – the Chicken Tikka Wraps were a big hit, as well as one of the curries. This worked really well! We worked with the canteen to see which recipes would work best and what they thought might do well.

We also have a private Teams page for those who are active users of the app, so they have a nice space to share their journeys, or ask others who may be joining one of the live workouts on the app that evening. It’s really nice and positive.

Next, we’re going to try a buddy system, pairing up people with those who are active and keep it accountable. It’ll give people the chance to check in and say, “I’m doing this session tonight”, or “are you going to do the live later?”. We’re going to promote the challenges as well, as a way to promote people getting back into the app.

How has it benefitted the people and the workplace?

A lot of people have spoken about the mental health benefits in the feedback we received. We found that less people were looking for weight loss, but had commented on feeling more toned, feeling fitter, and feeling at their healthiest.

It’s important to the business because having a healthy and happy workforce, as it reduces sickness absence, mental health absence, and increases productivity. We also have an ageing workforce, so staying healthy means they might be able to work for longer.

It’s all of those things – it’s just us doing the right thing. We offered the app for free, too – I know some companies may offer it at a discounted rate – but we work across the road from a gym and it’s so expensive. So the app is something they can take up at no cost.

Like with any apps, keeping the momentum going and sustaining motivation is important. It’s also learning to strike the balance between encouraging and getting the most out of it, and learning how much you do as a company to do it. It's definitely been worth signing up for!

Find out more about The Body Coach at Work.

This article was written by The Body Coach content team.

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