Header Logo

What our recent research into workplace wellbeing reveals for the public sector

By Angela Knox | Jan 6, 2022

We recently worked with the psychology department at the University of Essex, supported by UKRI, to conduct a research study into how we could make moving more and eating better during the work week simpler by using our wellbeing platform.

The project looked at how we could encourage a group of employees from a large organisation to make small, positive changes by delivering plans for regular short exercises and healthy meals.

The results were astounding and very revealing, both in terms of the positive comments from participants and the results that were reported, in just a short space of time.

“Work gets in the way” – but two minutes of exercise is achievable! 

Most public sector employees tend to be deskbound, and many are still getting used to the wfh vibe - with social isolation and lack of opportunities to move around being issues that can be hard to address.

In this study, the idea of breaking up the work day with small bursts of exercise was not something the participants were used to doing, and it seemed like in some cases they thought they would need permission from their bosses to move from their desk.  These comments sum up that feeling:

“If I saw for example that senior management and other colleagues are doing this, then I would feel more allowed to do it. The managers will say, “remember work-life balance is important”. Talking is one thing, and doing is completely different.”

I found it very interesting, and I think if it was sort of rolled out organisation-wide, I think it’d be really useful.”

As the age profile in this sector tends to be slightly higher than average, we chose to build a concept for our platform which was not too heavily tech based, but is colourful and engaging, with a good breadth of content providing an integrated approach across many topics - physical, mental and financial wellbeing.  This was also appreciated in comments like this one:

What I also liked about the website is there were sections that were useful for different people at different stages. So you had the mum’s section, you had the retirement section, doing bits from home, the mindfulness, the sleep, the money fit. There’s so much stuff on there that's useful to most people.”

By using our platform, and the integral planned activities which were suggested to the participants, we found that these simple resources were able to supplement the employees’ levels of activity without disrupting their work. 

And the self-reported results from doing so really made a difference to overall levels of fitness, concentration, general health, and motivation.

In this new era of hybrid working, we have demonstrated a new model for employee wellbeing provision based on simplicity, planning, and making little changes that all add up.

If you would like to read our full study report, send an email to: enquiries@keepfiteatfit.com with the subject line "UKRI report".

You can also read the companion to this blog here, relating to the education sector.

Angela Knox

Angela Knox

I am a co-founder and director of Keep Fit Eat Fit Wellbeing Ltd and have come from a business and marketing background over many years, with a particular interest in everything to do with health, fitness and overall wellbeing. Having worked in offices for decades, I know the pitfalls of too much sitting at a desk, the challenges of fitting the gym around other commitments, and all the issues addressed within our website. The personal experiences of me and my partner Mark were the original inspiration for the concept of this website. Enjoy!