ICO pledges to become an active workforce

Data handling may sound like a sedentary role but the UK’s information rights regulator, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), has committed to getting its workers more active.

To improve employees’ mental and physical wellbeing, the ICO has pledged to become an Active Workplace with support from Active Cheshire. The Active Workplace pledge has been adopted by over 60 local organisations across Cheshire and Warrington to help activate staff who are typically desk bound.

The ICO’s headquarters is in Wilmslow, with additional offices in London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast. With approximately 730 staff based at the head office, the majority of them are office-based. The ICO aims to empower and enable employees to lead healthy and active lifestyles in and outside of work.

Public health England and Active Working Community Interest announced the typical amount of sitting time for a working person in the UK is 9 hours each day, approved by expert J P Buckley et al.

The severe and harmful effects of prolonged inactivity include an increased risk of Type 2 Diabetes, cancer, heart disease and premature death. This has led Active Cheshire to refer to sitting as ‘the new smoking.’

The ICO is committed to developing and improving ways to enhance the health, wellbeing and quality of life of their staff. Additional support will be made accessible to encourage staff to get involved in various formal and informal activities. For example, health checks, corporate leisure membership and organised engagement activities.

Andrew Hubert, the ICO’s Director of Resources, said: “Through our new Wellbeing Plan, we are committed to ensuring and improving the all-round health of our people and maintaining and promoting the benefits of an active lifestyle is a very important part of that.

“A healthier colleague is generally a happier colleague and being more active can also improve performance, team spirit and togetherness. We are happy to support this initiative from Active Cheshire.”

Anne Boyd, CEO of Active Cheshire “We want to make physical activity accessible to all workplaces across Cheshire and Warrington. The benefits for both the business and employees is incredible, and key to creating great place to work and retain superb people.

“We are constantly learning to adapt to the needs and challenges in an increasingly inactive society.”

Activating the working environment, including office and break off areas, will be more conducive to an active culture, promoting positive wellbeing choices and behaviours.

Find out more about the work Active Cheshire do click here.