Essex County Council take up Workplace Challenge
Following the Workplace Challenge Midday Mile in May 2015, where over 60 ECC staff participated in a lunchtime run in the park, interest was expressed for a weekly staff lunchtime running group.
Working with Run England and delivered by Run Fit Essex, Active Essex set up a workplace running group catering to the needs of the staff which were identified through a survey. The group started as an 8 week free programme catering for all abilities, from complete beginners to regular runners and take place every Wednesday lunchtime for 45 minutes. They continued thereafter as ongoing paid sessions and there is an average number of 25 staff per session.
There has been a big posiitve impact on the staff with all feeling re-energised and de-stressed when returning to work.
Nearly all reported making new friends; "I really look forward to the Wednesday running session. It makes me look forward to coming into work. It was nice to have a scheduled session to attend in the day without having to worry about childcare." said Vicki. 81% reported their confidence was boosted - including that of Ghislaine who noted, "Since starting the running group I’ve had the confidence to start doing Park Runs. I never thought that I would be able to run 5km.
Most reported their physical fitness improved; participant Kay said, "The best thing is being able to get out in the fresh and take a proper break yet achieve my personal goal of improving my fitness/running skills.” She was one of over 90% of the new runners who felt an increase productivity when returning to work. Greg added "Knowing there will be company to run with at a regular day and time (of mixed abilities) is great. It has improved my fitness, general health and wellbeing. It has reduced stress and improved resilience to illness (I’m one of few people not to have been off sick due to recent illness circulating the team)."