Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, it became particularly evident that working from home led to employees spending more time sitting at desks. Brentwood and Basildon CCG were supported by Active Essex to ensure workplace activity was offered to staff, encouraging them become more active, leading to the improvement of deconditioning effects from the Covid-19 pandemic and the increased stress levels.
Brentwood & Basildon CCG have been devoted and passionate about tackling the inequalities which prevents its residents from enjoying the physical, social, and mental health benefits of an active lifestyle. As a health organisation they have been keen to tackle these same issues within their own workforce.
The adopted workplace health offer, funded through the Local Delivery Pilot Micro-grant programme, included a diverse range of taster sessions, making it easy for staff to attend activity programmes, without any of the barriers, such as: finding a suitable venue, money, having someone to go with, etc. They were keen that these activities complimented and ran alongside the Find Your Active Workplace Edition ran by Active Essex.
The Big Step Challenge, which was launched in March by Active Essex as part of the Find Your Active Workplace Edition, was well adopted by Brentwood and Basildon CCG, engaging more teams than any other workplace. The team created a friendly, competitive buzz helping ensure people felt encouraged to take time away from their desk and increase their daily step count.
Brentwood and Basildon CCG understand the importance of physical activity and movement for their employees, as well as local residents. Their relationship with Active Essex has grown stronger since the recruitment of a jointly funded post that sits within the CCG, leading on physical activity programmes in addition to the work on their Workplace Health offer.
The Badminton taster sessions have proved extremely popular; after funding finished for these sessions, participants decided to contribute to the hire of the Badminton courts in order to sustain these sessions long term.
Brentwood and Basildon CCG have also secured further funding to continue the stress management and meditation sessions, after employees’ said how beneficial the sessions were in supporting their mental health.
Going forward, the CCG will use the data and lessons learnt, as evidence-based proposals for their Summer of Active Fun, ensuring the offer can grow across the wider Mid and South Essex Health and Care Partnership; providing a case to show the importance of Active Essex support across Workplaces in Essex to help get employees active.