Bite-sized manager guide promotes workforce physical fitness

12 December 2017

AXA PPP healthcare has published a bite-sized Manager guide to promoting an active workforce.
This complements the healthcare company’s sponsorship of ukactive’s National Fitness Day, when employers throughout the country pushed back the start of the working day by an hour to give employees an extra hour for their personal fitness.

Chris Horlick, Distribution Director for AXA PPP healthcare, said: “We know from our own research1 that over a quarter of employees (27 per cent) don’t do any exercise during the working week. Not surprising when nearly two-thirds (61 per cent) also tell us their employer doesn’t encourage them to lead an active lifestyle. The findings also strongly indicate that bosses aren’t putting into practice what they know about fitness. In our recent poll of bosses¹, 82 per cent said they believed that exercise has a positive bearing on employees’ ability to handle stress and 78 per cent agreed it boosts productivity. We hope our simple guide will help management to mind the fitness gap in their organisations.”

Steven Ward, CEO of ukactive, founder of National Fitness Day, added: “Physical inactivity is the asbestos of the 21st Century, wreaking havoc in the workplace and harming bottom lines through ill health, low productivity and high absenteeism. It's storing up a vast number of lifestyle related diseases for employees later in life. That’s why it’s great to be working with AXA PPP healthcare to highlight the benefits of a more active workforce and encouraging employers to make regular movement a staple of the working day.”

Tips to boost activity at work

  • Activities don’t have to cost much
    How about encouraging walking meetings and lunchtime walks? You could promote these by displaying maps of local short walks and inviting employees to share their personal favourites. Similarly, sign-posting the number of steps on staircases can nudge employees to shun the lift and reward fitness-tracking employees who like keep count.
  • Champion active commuting
    Promoting onsite facilities such as bike racks, showers and changing rooms can encourage employees to make more of their travel time – for example, by joining a cycle to work scheme or walking more, say, by getting off the bus a stop or two sooner.
  • Talk to HR about gym subsidies
    Local leisure centres may be open to offering your employees discounted membership or even coming to your workplace to run fitness classes. Think about subsidising it if you find it’s something your people really want.
  • Inject some team spirit
    Participating in fitness activities can be a great way to bring your team together – especially if it’s accompanied by a healthy dose of socialising. If it catches on, think about extending it to generate inter-team rivalries.
  • View things through employees’ eyes
    Put yourself in your employees’ shoes and make sure your health and wellbeing comms hit the spot. Be upbeat, inclusive and keep reminding employees of the great health and wellbeing support you offer – whether it’s by email, intranet posts or promotional posters by drinks machines and in the loos. That may be all that it takes to nudge them into getting involved.
  • Embrace flexible working
    Over a third (35%) of bosses¹ think offering flexible hours would encourage their employees to be more physically active. So what’s your organisation’s policy on flexible working? Could you encourage employees to take longer lunchbreaks for fitness? Or start or finish a bit earlier to help them squeeze in some pre or post work activity?

Download the guide here.


1Research of 1,000 full-time employees and 500 decision makers undertaken for AXA PPP healthcare in August 2017 by



AXA PPP healthcare – one of the largest and most experienced health insurance providers in the UK – has been helping people to access healthcare services since 1940. Today it forms the UK healthcare arm of AXA and provides cover for medical and dental care for individuals and employers, and employee wellbeing, counselling, occupational health and rehabilitation services through its Health Services division.

AXA PPP healthcare has been named Best Healthcare Provider at the Corporate Adviser Awards 2017, Moneyfacts 2016 Best Healthcare Service and Health Insurance Provider of the Year, the European Large Contact Centre of the Year (at the European Contact Centre & Customer Service Awards, 2015) and Best Customer Experience (in the Large Contact Centre category of the UK Customer Experience Awards 2015).

The AXA Group is a worldwide leader in insurance and asset management, with 165,000 employees serving 107 million clients in 64 countries. In 2016, IFRS revenues amounted to Euro 100.2 billion and IFRS underlying earnings to Euro 5.7 billion. AXA had Euro 1,429 billion in assets under management as of December 31, 2016. In 2016 Interbrand ranked AXA the 1st insurance brand worldwide for the 8th consecutive year. In the UK AXA operates through a number of business units including: AXA Insurance, AXA PPP healthcare and AXA Ireland. AXA employees around 10,000 staff in the UK.
The AXA ordinary share is listed on compartment A of Euronext Paris under the ticker symbol CS (ISN FR 0000120628 – Bloomberg: CS FP – Reuters: AXAF.PA). AXA’s American Depository Share is also quoted on the OTC QX platform under the ticker symbol AXAHY.

The AXA Group is included in the main international SRI indexes, such as Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) and FTSE4GOOD.
It is a founding member of the UN Environment Programme’s Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) Principles for Sustainable Insurance and a signatory of the UN Principles for Responsible Investment.



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