Getting active

People are less active nowadays, partly because technology has made our lives easier. We drive cars or take public transport. Machines wash our clothes. We entertain ourselves in front of a TV or computer screen. Fewer people are doing manual work, and most of us have jobs that involve little physical effort. Work, household chores, shopping and other necessary activities are far less demanding than for previous generations. An average adult spends 7 hours of the day sat down.

Inactivity is described by the Department of Health as a "silent killer". Evidence is emerging that sedentary behaviour, such as sitting or lying down for long periods, is bad for your health.

Not only should you try to raise your activity levels, but also consider reducing the amount of time you and your family spend sitting down.

Common examples of sedentary behaviour include watching TV, using a computer, using the car for short journeys and sitting down to read, talk or listen to music. This type of behaviour is thought to increase your risk of developing many chronic diseases, such as heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes, as well as weight gain.

So it is important that we add Physical activity into our lifestyles to avoid being too sedentary.

Getting more physically active can have a range of benefits both for our physical wellbeing but also our mental wellbeing. The department of health recommend that you get at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity into your week- this is any activity that raises your heart and breathing rates for example brisk walking. It is also recommended that you add at least two muscle strengthening sessions into your week, this could be structured weights but also carrying your heavy weekly shop could count.

There are lots of ways in which we can add more activity into our every day lives which don't require extensive equipment or expensive gym memberships. Making small changes to our every day routine such as taking stairs instead of lifts, parking a little further away from our workplace or getting off public transport a stop early can really help us get more activity into our every day lives.

You can find out more information about physical activity on the NHS Better Health wesite here. Please see below for what is on offer within the trust.

Physical Activity Seminar

The staff wellbeing team run a 40 minute physical activity seminar that explores the risk factors associated with 21st century sedentary lifestyles, what the benefits of physical activity can be and how much physical activity is recommended. We will also explore simple ways to start and incorporate more physical activity into your daily routine to improve general health and wellbeing. we run this session periodically and we can also run this session for departments. For more information contact staffwellbeing@nuh.nhs.uk.

Couch to 5K Course

We run a couch to 5K course twice a year. This is a ten week walk/run programme that takes staff members from having never run before to being able to run 5K non stop. It is run by qualified and experienced run leaders who have a wealth of knowledge about physical activity and running. For more information on the course and for the upcoming dates contact staffwellbeing@nuh.nhs.uk.

Pedometer Challenges

Look out throughout the year on trust briefing and our mailing lists for details on our upcoming pedometer challenge events, they are a much loved part of the staff wellbeing programme and encourage some friendly competition between challenge teams!

Fitness classes

We are currently not able to offer fitness classes, when we are in a position to do so there will be communications via the Staff Wellbeing newsletter and offical trust communication channels.

Staff gym

Staff can use the gym in the physiotherapy department at QMC, Tuesday's and Wednesday's from 4.30pm-7.00pm. We have a wide range of cardiovascular equipment, weight machines, free weights and conditioning equipment. Qualified and friendly staff are available during each session to offer support and advice. Staff must have an induction prior to using the gym but this can usually be arranged on the day, just ask one of our staff members to set you up. Booking is essential, you can get the link by emailing the Staff Wellbeing team at staffwellbeing@nuh.nhs.uk.  The staff gym costs £1.50 per session up to a monthly cap of £10, this is taken out of your pay for that month.

Online Resources

There are lots of online resources available to help you keep fit and active. If you're working from home, try to do some exercise everyday to keep your brain ticking over. If you are physically at work, then try to balance rest with some exercise on the days you aren't working. Some recommendations are:

Lots of people find using tracking apps a helpful resource when getting physically active and there are many available such as Strava, however it is important that we don't compete too much with other people and we are kind to ourselves. The main thing is just getting out there and doing it!

Showers and changing facilities at NUH

At QMC there are male and female changing facilities available on D Floor, just around the corner from the wellbeing room. Towels are provided. To access these please contact us for the code, or for a locker contact cycling@nuh.nhs.uk or call

Tel: 0115 924 9924 Ext: 84771

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