Carol Black: 'Employers should embrace active working'

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Dame Carol Black has encouraged employers to introduce more active working environments, from light active breaks to changes in furniture and monitoring employee movement.

Black, principal of Newnham College, University of Cambridge and a government adviser on work and health, was speaking at the Active Work Summit in London.

She said the initiative creates engaged workforces, “benefiting the individual, the employer and business”.

Institute of Sport Exercise and Health lead consultant in sport and exercise medicine Mike Loosemore said active working is “not an exercise regime but a change in behaviour”. For it to be successful, he said active working must accessible to all, constantly communicated, supported across the business and evaluated.

An example of an active working practice is sit-stand working, which encourages employees to alternate their working position and environment.

The style of working has been proven to lower health risks and increase employee alertness and positivity. Employers found sit-stand working improved self-reported productivity, reduced the length of meetings and led to more collaboration.

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