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Start the day an hour later and get your team off to a Flying Start

AXA PPP healthcare is reigniting Flying Start – workplace wing of ukactive’s National Fitness Day campaign.

Last year’s inaugural campaign saw over 80 companies start National Fitness Day with a Flying Start. Now in its second year, the healthcare company is calling on even more employers of all shapes and sizes to bring some movement to their employees’ mornings by pushing back the start of the working day by an hour on Wednesday 26th September 2018 – National Fitness Day – to allow them to get physically active, in turn driving productivity.

According to independent research from AXA,[i] business leaders agree that exercise has a positive effect on employees’ productivity by improving their motivation (78 per cent) and on their ability to handle stress (82 per cent).

And employees who exercise before going to work concur.[ii]

  • Nearly 7 out of 10 (69%) say it makes them feel more productive.
  • Nearly three quarters (74%) say it improves their concentration and focus
  • 45% say they feel the benefits in the morning
  • And for 39% the benefits last all day

National Fitness Day is an annual campaign that celebrates the fun of fitness and physical activity, while highlighting the benefits leading an active lifestyle can have on our overall health. A huge range of free activities will take place across the UK, from yoga and Pilates classes, to treadmill challenges, high-street HIIT classes, dance-offs and walks. The day aims to engage people from all backgrounds, from the inactive to the already active, from the home to the high street, the office to the gym.

To help employers take part, AXA PPP healthcare has created a Flying Start microsite where they can sign up to free-to-download resources, including

  • Flying Start Factsheet – Why get the day off to a Flying Start?
  • Flying Start Guidebook – Getting National Fitness Day off to a flyer
  • poster templates
  • wording and images for email promotions and
  • images for social media posts to promote their involvement

There’s also a two-page guide for managers to help them promote physical activity in their organisations.

To build momentum in the run up to National Fitness Day, employers will get regular emails with additional inspiration and resources, including

  • links to free digital workouts with fitness champions Shona Vertueand Les Mills
  • free 3-day PureGym passes to use in the week of National Fitness Day
  • links to 20,000 free events happening throughout the UK that they can join on National Fitness Day, courtesy of ukactive’s members and partners

“Flying Start is a simple campaign with a simple message – being physically active is good for us. It’s good for our physical and mental health. And it’s good for business.[iii] So, for this one day let’s give it some focus. Whether it’s using the first hour of the working day to walk the dog, join a dance class or roller-blade to work, taking time to do something a little bit different may be just the spur we need to commit ourselves to making changes for the better. Flying Start is a great way for employers to highlight and encourage employees to live healthier, more active, lives. In fact, it’s such a good idea, we’ve extended our support for National Fitness Day for another three years.” [Chris Horlick, Distribution Director for AXA PPP healthcare]

“I’ve worked in an office so I’m completely aware of the desk vortex and how difficult it is sometimes to get away from the screen. But I also know that one of the best ways to boost brain power is to move your body! Flying Start is a simple way for businesses to help their employees kick start some healthy habits and get fitter. However you choose to get your day off to a Flying Start – yoga, power walking, HIIT session … – being more physically active can only be a plus for everyone.” [Shona Vertue]

“We’re really excited to work with Flying Start on this important initiative. By partnering with ukactive and AXA to provide Les Mills On Demand to offices during the day, we hope to inspire companies throughout the UK and Ireland to take the opportunity to get active and try something new. By prioritising the wellbeing of their teams and allowing employees to start an hour later, we hope this Flying Start initiative will help to change culture in the workplace and inspire people to be more active not just on National Fitness Day, but every day.” [Wendy Coulson, CEO of Les Mills UK and Ireland]

“Physical activity has a huge role to play in our nation’s productivity by helping to improve our daily happiness, health and wellbeing. Flying Start is a crucial part of National Fitness Day and provides the perfect opportunity for organisations of all sizes to invest in the wellbeing of their people and reap the benefits of a healthier, more active workforce. We are delighted that AXA PPP healthcare has extended its support of National Fitness Day for another three years – demonstrating its commitment to getting our nation moving.” [Steven Ward, CEO of ukactive]

For more information visit Flying Start.

[i]Survey of 500 decision-makers undertaken August 2017 by 3Gem for AXA PPP healthcare.

[ii]Survey of 1000 full-time employees undertaken August 2017 by 3Gem for AXA PPP healthcare.

[iii]Public Health England and Business in the Community (2018). Physical activity, healthy eating and healthier weight – a toolkit for employers.