Trying to get employees involved in different sorts of physical activity is not as easy as it sounds. I may have recruited the office Zumba crowd and have them strutting their stuff every week, Gangnam style in the board room. Click here to try this at home.
I may have had everyone joining in with the Pedometer Walking Challenge following the ‘virtual’ route from Paris to Istanbul (although there were a few casualties mid Europe when they realised how far it actually was) I may have tried out Boot camp, circuits, Pilates and Ping Pong, but what on earth could I tempt them with next? Fencing proved popular, but carting all the gear about was a headache and the health and safety police were not happy with the quality of my risk assessment. ‘It’ll be fine,’ I said ‘we’ve got protective gear on’ – but ‘fencing can’t be safe’ they insisted…Well neither’s eating curry from the ‘KnowledgeCafe’ aka our staff canteen, but no one makes them fill in a three page risk assessment form.
Why are we wearing giant nappies?
I surmised we might try rowing as the office is adjacent to the mighty river Tyne and there are two rowing clubs nearby. Apparently however the Tyne is quite a tricky river what with coastal tides happening and the reservoir at Keilder occasionally releasing huge amounts of excess water into it creating the additional hazard of white water rafting conditions. Hence, we were only allowed a go in the giant rowing tank which holds 90 tonnes of water and means you can learn the technique of rowing without the fear of ending up in the drink. Fourteen members of staff went along and thoroughly enjoyed them selves with several signing up for a proper learn-to-row course in the future. Of course when you are sitting in a rowing four you have to be able to follow the person in front and it was clear that some people were always going to find this a challenge and they were oars akimbo from the start.
Rowing in a shed!
Dave’s oars were akimbo
More recently, we tried horse riding along the beautiful Derwent Valley at Hagghill Farm, a quite delightful equestrian establishment. Some people were ‘rusty’ riders coming back to the saddle after years in some cases, and others were just absolute beginners who had always fancied trying riding but had never had the opportunity. Fly, the very very gorgeous sheepdog tried to round us all up as usual and we had a perfect hack out on a a fine Autumn afternoon. The leaves were doing that New England colour change thing in Old England style.We could see and hear the huge Red Kites screaming through the rare blue English sky.
Click here to find out more about the Workforce Workfit programme which features in this week’s Health Service Journal.