Workplace Pedometer Interventions for Increasing Physical Activity

Now that we are working from home and have had some time to adjust to our new routines, how are your steps going? For the majority of us, we are likely experiencing a decrease in the amount of steps we are doing each day due to working within our own homes and having a smaller space to walk around in, not getting up as frequently to walk to another area of the office to get a drink or use the bathroom, not going for a walk up to our local café to get a coffee or a bite to eat, or possibly even missing out on steps accumulated during our daily commute. Whatever the reason may be, it is still important for both our physical and mental health to ensure we are getting up, moving and walking around throughout our day.

Enter, the humble pedometer. With today’s technology we have access to wearable technologies such as smart watches and phones which can track this data for us, and what better time than now to start using this data to help keep us fit, motivated and moving! The World Health Organisation highly encourages the use of simple instruments and interventions, such as the humble pedometer to be incorporated into workplaces in order to help manage health and wellbeing in the workplace. While more research is needed into this area, studies have shown benefits in the areas of body mass index, mental health and reduction in worksite injuries.

How might this work in your workplace? At home or in the office, our advice is to have fun with it! Set some personal targets or team challenges. Allow your employees some time through the working day to get up and incorporate steps throughout their day.  Send around reminders to keep people engaged and motivated. No matter how you choose to incorporate this into your working life and that of your employees, it is important that we continue to take care of our mental and physical health by increasing how much we are getting up and moving as much as possible during this time.

– Jocelyn Moulton, Senior Occupational Therapist at Gallagher Workplace Risk