Right now, just over half of the NSW population does the recommended level of at least 30 minutes of physical activity on most days of the week required to obtain health benefits. So most of us need to be more active, more often - PCAL Why Active Living Statement
There are many existing resources which highlight the benefits of workplace health and wellbeing programs for employers, employees and the broader community. For example, a recent research summary found that investing in workplace health promotion (such as physical activity programs) has the potential to increase economic return for employers through enhanced worker productivity, reduced absenteeism and improved corporate image.Travelling to and from the workplace provides many great opportunities to be more active. To assist workplaces to encourage staff to adopt more sustainable modes of travel, PCAL has compiled this list of resources that focus on active travel options in the workplace.
The list includes a range of active workplace guidelines, resources and case studies as well as upcoming cycling and walking events where employers and employees can participate and experience the benefits of physical activity.
PCAL Workplace Guidelines
The PCAL Workplace Guidelines recognise that workplaces are where many people spend most of their day and, as a result, it is crucial that opportunities for active travel be provided at workplaces. The guidelines include example design objectives for workplaces promoting travel behaviour change and active travel within the workplace. To help achieve these objectives design considerations are provided relating specifically to site integration; facilities; site layout and design; and planning, education and training. Links to practical toolkits and detailed design guidelines and specifications are also provided.
The PCAL Workplace Guidelines are part of the broader PCAL Designing Places for Active Living Resource which covers six other design focus areas such as walking and cycling routes, retail areas and public transport.
PCAL Workplace Travel Plan Resource and Brochure
A Workplace Travel Plan (WTP) spells out the actions a workplace will take to support active travel - a great way to show leadership and care for staff well-being. The PCAL WTP resource provides a summary of how to prepare a WTP and signposting to key relevant international and national tools and references.
The PCAL Workplace Travel Plan Brochure promotes the benefits of developing and using travel plans and highlights successful case studies of businesses who have implemented WTPs. The brochure refers readers to the PCAL WTP resource for further information.
NSW Get Healthy Information and Coaching Service ®
The Get Healthy Information and Coaching Service® is a free and confidential telephone based Service that provides information and ongoing support to NSW adults who would like to eat healthier, be more active at home and in the workplace and/or achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Participants are sent a detailed information kit or can elect to take part in a six month health coaching program which aims to achieve long term lifestyle changes. The coaching program offers the participant access to their own university qualified health coach who will assist them set healthy lifestyle goals, overcome barriers and setbacks, maintain motivation and achieve long term lifestyle changes.
Call the Service on 1300 806 258 (Monday - Friday 8am - 8pm)
NSW Take the Stairs posters
Evidence shows that placing prompt signs at points of decision such as the base of the stairs or at lifts can successfully encourage people to use the stairs. Prompt signs can inform people of the health benefits of using the stairs, or simply remind people of the more active opportunity. Stair use has been linked with improved cardiovascular health and increased strength, and stair use can help burn kilojoules for weight management. If more people use the stairs instead of the lift, this can also contribute to a reduction in the energy consumption of a building (NYC, Centre for Active Design).
PCAL in collaboration with the NSW Ministry of Health and the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, has prepared a series of 'take the stairs' posters, with energy balance messages. A4 size posters are available to download with the following key messages:
NSW Teleworking Manual
Teleworking or remote working as it is also known, is a flexible working arrangement where staff work for some or all of the time away from the usual work base. The location may be at home, mobile office, telecentre or hot desk. Teleworking involves communicating with the workplace via telecommunications equipment such as the internet, telephone, video links and webcams.
The NSW Teleworking Manual is a comprehensive guide to setting up and implementing a teleworking program in an organisation to help employees reduce or eliminate their commute travel and manage their work outputs more effectively. Spending less time commuting provides more opportunities to be physically active and spend time with the family. This may include walking/cycling rather than driving children to and from school which, as evidence suggests in the PCAL Why Active Living Statement, would also help to significantly decrease demand by families for a second car.
The NSW Teleworking Manual provides a great deal of information including an introduction to teleworking and how to design, start, monitor and evaluate a teleworking program.
Active Travel in the Workplace - Planning for an Active Workforce: Sustrans Toolkit
The UK Sustrans toolkit provides a range of ideas for promoting active travel within the workplace, including getting started by promoting existing walking and cycling routes; providing active travel directions for staff and visitors; introducing active travel friendly policies; and providing equipment such as convenient and secure cycle storage and showering facilities. Several case studies featuring a Council, business park, university and hospital are also included and show the active travel actions these organisations have undertaken to date, benefits achieved and future actions planned to sustain and encourage staff travel behaviour change.
Events and Promotional Material
Workplace Active Travel Brochure
There are many upcoming cycling and walking events where organisations and their employees can get involved. Cycling and walking to and from work improves health and fitness, is environmentally friendly, affordable and fun. These upcoming events are the perfect opportunity for employees to socialise and become involved in an enjoyable active experience.
A list of upcoming National and NSW walking and cycling events is included in the PCAL Promoting Workplace Active Travel brochure.
Communities NSW 'Tips for Getting Active' Webpage
A recent Victorian study has found that people who used public transport spent an average of more than 30 minutes extra walking and/or cycling as part of their travel as opposed to private transport commuters (cars, taxis etc). Communties NSW's 'Tips for Getting Active' webpage outlines the benefits of daily physical activity and provides guidance to ensure it is a safe and enjoyable experience. The 'Gateway to Sport' resource also offers a one-stop-shop for information about participating in sporting activities and links on how to contact your nearest club for further details.
The PCAL workplaces and active travel case studies largely describe the efforts of three organisations - Optus, Fairfax Media and NSW Roads and Traffic Authority - to encourage and assist their employees to incorporate sustainable travel alternatives into their daily travel routine. These case studies cover Workplace Travel Plans as well as travel planning guides and behaviour change initiatives. Together they demonstrate how to overcome barriers to walking, cycling and sustainable travel for both public and private organisations.