Moving before or after work can be especially difficult during the winter months, with the lack of daylight seriously affecting not only motivation levels, but also the ability to get outside to exercise safely, so it’s been fantastic to see Decathlon UK celebrate this year’s RED January campaign, by encouraging employees to take movement breaks during the working day to better support their mental and physical wellbeing.
Decathlon introduced this for all of their employees across the country, following a survey which found that two thirds (61%) believed that having time in their day to move would significantly improve their mental wellbeing during one of the most difficult months of the year.
Delphine Mazillier, Decathlon UK’s Head of CSR said the impact of regular movement breaks has been profound for employee wellbeing.
“The benefits of encouraging our teammates the flexibility to take 30 minutes out during their day to ‘move for their minds’ have been amazing. Employers are in a unique position to positively influence change that encourages and enables employees to be more active during the day and we urge other businesses to join us in supporting their wellbeing."
Following the success of the workplace initiative and off the back a recent report finding that getting the nation’s workforce physically active could benefit the UK economy by up to £17bn a year, we strongly believe it’s now time for all businesses to introduce movement breaks to help transform the mental wellbeing of UK workers.
We surveyed 1,438 of this year’s REDers to understand the impact being more active has had on their mental health and found that almost 80% of participants noticed an improvement in their mental wellbeing as a result of exercising throughout January. Furthermore, over a third (35%) of RED January participants said that workplace movement breaks were one of the most important changes their employer could make.
This is also backed by Dr Brendon Stubbs, one of the world’s leading researchers in movement and mental health, who said:
“The research speaks for itself, movement is a fantastic, and often free, way to help maintain and improve our mental health. It has a multi-system effect on our body and sparks new connections, lighting up key areas of the brain that help with emotional processing. There is evidence to show that not all movement is equal though - for example, getting outside to exercise produces more positive effects on our mental health as opposed to moving indoors. Which is why I support RED January in their mission to get businesses to implement movement breaks for employees.”
The health and wellbeing of employees is one of the most valuable assets a business can have, which is why we urge businesses to take the lead from our incredible partners Decathlon UK and implement daily movement breaks to support employees through the winter months.
The last few years have been hard for so many, with a cost-of-living crisis and near constant negative news cycle, meaning supporting people a little more through the toughest times has never been more important. If this can have an impact during the winter months, imagine the benefits it can continue to bring people for the rest of the year!