NI businesses encouraged to make healthy workplace changes this January

Business in the Community is urging NI businesses to make their workplaces healthier in 2017

Business in the Community, Northern Ireland’s only responsible business network, is calling on local employers to help their employees make changes for this better this year by adopting workplace-based campaigns designed to improve health and wellbeing in the workplace.

At a celebration event at Belfast Harbour Offices on Thursday 12 January 2017, Business in the Community welcomed employers who had taken part in a pilot of a new workplace-based campaign, Activity Works and looked towards the year ahead with the launch of the fourth annual £ for lb 12 Week Challenge.

Over 100 employees took part in a pilot of Activity Works, an eight-week workplace challenge delivered in partnership with Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke (NICHS) and sponsored by Westfield Health. The programme aimed to encourage workers to increase their activity levels throughout their working day by making small changes to their routine.

Amy Kieran, Workplace Programme Manager at Business in the Community said:

“We are delighted with the results of the first Activity Works Challenge. Together, participants clocked up a staggering 149,419 active minutes during the eight-week period. This equates to 2,490 active hours – or a total of 66 weeks based on the average working week.

“The feedback from participants has been really positive, with employers noticing increased motivation and wellbeing in the office. We understand that people have busy lives, both inside and outside the office, and this initiative works really well because it doesn’t demand that you make extra time for hours in the gym, instead it encourages people to fit exercise into their normal routine. The pilot has been a great success and we look forward to supporting even more companies to get active this year.”

At the event, Business in the Community also launched a new £ for lb Toolkit which has been developed with the support of the Public Health Agency. The Toolkit is designed to provide employers with all the necessary tools and resources to roll-out a 12-week weight loss challenge within their own place of work at a time that is suitable for them.

The £ for lb Challenge has been successfully delivered in workplaces for the past three consecutive years, with over 1,620 employees taking part last year, collectively losing a staggering 676 stone – the weight of an average killer whale!

Caroline Bloomfield, Health and Social Wellbeing Improvement Manager, Public Health agency, commented: “We spend a large portion of our day in work, so it is crucial that we take a whole day approach to health and wellbeing. Many people start the New Year, with resolutions to lose weight or improve their health and wellbeing but maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be difficult with so many forces at play. Workplace-based initiatives like Activity Works and £ for lb are great ways to encourage both employers and employees, to think about ways to improve workplace health, and sustain changes in the longer-term.”

If your business is interested in making healthy workplace changes this year, visit or contact Amy Kieran on 028 9046 0606.