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The Olympic legacy: A healthier workplace?

The Olympics may be over, but there's plenty employers can do to capitalise on our new-found enthusiasm for sport.

The London 2012 Olympic Games may be over, but there's plenty that employers can do to build on our new-found enthusiasm for sport.

It's long been recognised that our physical wellbeing impacts significantly on how we perform at work. Physically active employees take around 30% fewer sick days than their less active colleagues, while studies show that healthy workers are more likely to 'go the extra mile' by giving better service and showing greater commitment and creativity. Recent studies by the British Heart Foundation and Sport England have shown that workplace sport and health programmes can have a strong positive impact in the workplace - not only on levels of sport participation and general health, but also on staff morale, motivation and working relationships.

Obviously, not every organisation can afford to provide a gym or regular health checks for staff, but even simple initiatives can pay dividends without breaking the bank. Promoting healthy food in staff canteens, encouraging staff to cycle or walk to work and organising team-building exercises around sports and outdoor activities can all help to bring sport and healthy living into the workplace. Other ways include sponsored events for charity and workplace health challenges, with prizes for winning teams or individual participants. It's always worth getting in touch with local sports facilities and training providers to organise 'come and try' sessions after work or in lunch-breaks, or even regular classes.

Acas can help you improve the Health and wellbeing of your workplace. With over 30 years of experience, working with organisations of all sizes, we have expert advisers and services to suit your situation.

Visit the Acas Training Courses, Workshops and Projects area for more information.

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