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Physiotherapists in Cumbria have been encouraging NHS staff to move more as part of the national Workout at Work campaign.

The campaign, led by The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, encourages people to move more at work while also raising the profile of physiotherapists.

Research shows that prolonged sitting and sedentary time is bad for your health but by making a few small changes it can be easy to incorporate exercise in or around the working day.

Physiotherapists from Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust organised events including a pilates taster sessions, a lunchtime walk, an evening fell run, a dog walk and an attempt to climb the height of Everest. Tracey Mifflin, Physiotherapy Professional Lead, explained: “The teams have organised some really fun events while getting across a more serious message. Modern lifestyles mean that it’s easy to spend too much time sitting down but we hoped to show that it’s also easy, and fun, to team up with colleagues and get moving together. The benefits are endless to both physical and mental wellbeing but a short exercise break can also help you to refocus and keep you alert.”

The Everest stair climb which aimed to get more people to take the stairs was co-ordinated by Physiotherapist Jenny Long: “Taking the stairs instead of the lift is such an easy but very effective way to add some exercise into our working day. To kick off our “Ditch the Lift” campaign we challenged colleagues to climb as many flights of stairs as possible in a working week – with the aim of climbing Mount Everest between us! “We are currently over three quarters of the way there having completed 2,483 flights and will continue until we summit. Hopefully, we can inspire others that you don’t have to join a gym to increase your fitness levels, but just making small simple changes to your day can bring benefits to your health.”

Andrew Speight, Physiotherapist, visited office based teams in Penrith to discuss the importance of taking regular desk breaks and showed some stretches which can be done in the office to prevent problems with muscles and joints. Andrew commented: “The body isn’t designed to sit for hours so breaks and stretches should be a regular part of any daily routine. I showed the teams a few simple desk based exercises and stretches to help them avoid aches and pains in the office.”

Tracey added, “We know that prevention is always better than cure so we encourage others, whatever their profession, to think about how they can incorporate more exercise into their working day. Whether it’s walking to the photocopier, taking the stairs, parking further from the office or a lunchtime walk – it all helps.”

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