In recognition of steps taken to support staff wellbeing, Commonwealth Games Scotland (CGS) has recently been awarded Paths for All’s ‘Walk at Work Award’ as well as being accredited as a ‘Cycle Friendly Employer’ by Cycling Scotland.
Recent findings from UK workplaces reveal that half of all employees experience poor mental health at work, including stress, anxiety and depression. Studies have also shown that those who regularly cycle to work typically take fewer sick days than less active commuters, while regular walking can reduce the effects of poor mental health, particularly walking in greenspace.
As part of the ‘Walk at Work Award’, which recognises workplaces in Scotland creating healthy and active workforces, CGS staff have been encouraged to move more throughout the working day with the introduction of standing desks, a lunchtime walking club and a ‘Walk to Birmingham 2022’ Step Count Challenge which challenged staff to walk the equivalent distance of a return journey from the CGS office at the University of Stirling to Birmingham, the site of the next Commonwealth Games.
The introduction of a bicycle mileage allowance for business journeys, provision of equipment storage and drying space and access to a pool bike for on-campus, local and lunchtime travel were among the steps taken towards ‘Cycling Friendly Employer‘ status.
Scotland’s walking charity Paths for All set up their ‘Walk at Work’ award to help tackle poor health in the workplace and reverse the trend of inactive workplaces where staff sit for up to 9 hours a day. The nationally recognised ‘Cycling Friendly Employer’ programme provides an award scheme and funding to help organisations make it easier for their staff to cycle and enjoy the benefits of active travel. Both charities provided Commonwealth Games Scotland with one to one support to set up activities to get their workforce more active.
By promoting walking and cycling as easy ways to get to and from work and meetings, CGS are also reducing their carbon footprint and helping to reduce congestion and emissions.
Ian Findlay, Paths for All’s Chief Officer, urges all Scottish workplaces to take their employee’s health seriously.
“Congratulations to Commonwealth Games Scotland for achieving our Walk at Work Award. It’s brilliant to see Scottish workplaces take the lead in creating a work-based walking culture and making improvements to staff health and wellbeing.”
“Research shows that employees who are physically active in and around the working day take fewer sick days, are more motivated and productive, and are more able to concentrate, so walking is not just good for us, it’s good for business.
“I would urge any Scottish workplace to follow Commonwealth Games Scotland’s lead and use Paths for All’s support to take small steps to a healthier workforce.”