All physical activity counselling and training is recommended to be provided by a physiotherapist, a physical education instructor, or an equivalent professional with a qualification in exercise and health.
Possibility for employees to measure, for example, body weight, body composition, blood pressure, blood glucose, and/or blood lipids to raise awareness of personal health status, and receive tailored recommendations based on the measurement results. This can be done, for example, during health checks or theme days arranged at the workplace.
Possibility for employees to test, for example, functional ability, fitness, muscle tone, and/or flexibility to raise awareness of personal physical condition, and receive tailored recommendations based on the measurement results. This can be done, for example, during theme days arranged at the workplace.
Providing employees education on physical activity and its health benefits, for example, in the form of lectures, workshops, or information stands
Sharing short (1–2 minutes) and low-threshold break exercise videos on workplace Intranet, info screens, and/or via email. The videos can be made, for example, by the employees of the workplace or by students trained to become physical education instructors.
Possibility for employees to use a digital lifestyle training application that is used, for example, on a computer or smartphone, that supports in adding physical activity into daily routines, and that enables monitoring progress in lifestyle change process
Possibility for employees to use an activity logbook, a pedometer, or an activity tracker for self-monitoring physical activity and sedentary time, as well as the progress in reaching personal physical activity goals
Possibility for empowering individual or group-based coaching that involves:
- provision of factual information, for example, on how physical activity and sedentary behaviour influence health, and on physical activity recommendations
- boosting motivation, for example, by weighing pros and cons of making lifestyle changes
- goal-setting and action planning that involves setting concrete, achievable goals for adding physical activity into daily routines, making an action plan to achieve these goals, and identifying and reducing barriers for following the plan
- skills training, for example, through guided physical activity sessions that build up physical condition and train to execute movements safely
- receiving feedback and monitoring progress
Occupational physiotherapist visiting the workplace at certain intervals to instruct employees on tailored break exercises that promote recovery from work-induced stress and strain, and that help to prevent or treat work-related musculoskeletal problems
Possibility for employees to consult a physiotherapist, for instance, by including physiotherapy services in the contract made with occupational health care service provider. This contract could encompass, for example, five physiotherapy sessions per employee on occupational doctor’s referral.
Encouraging employees to take short physical activity breaks by delivering positively framed messages via posters, info-screens, or email messages. These messages can, for example, highlight the benefits of interrupting long periods of sitting and of performing short exercise bouts.
Using automatic reminders delivered by a computer- or smartphone-based exercise application or a wrist-worn activity tracker to prompt employees to stand up, step, or have a short physical activity break with pre-set intervals such as once every 1–2 hours. In order not to interrupt workflow, this technology should, however, enable employees to postpone or ignore the prompts when the timing is not right for a break.
Encouraging stair-use with motivational messages, for example, via posters placed on the point-of-choice between the stairs and the elevator or the escalator. Some tips for designing effective prompts:
- Use positively framed messages that highlight the benefits of using stairs. Since not all employees are interested in fitness, health, weight, and energy expenditure, messages related to other benefits, such as saving time and electricity may be more effective.
- Include both text and images on posters.
- Medium (A1−A0) and large (>A0) sized posters are easier to notice, and hence likely to be more effective than smaller ones (A5−A2).
The effectiveness of these messages can be increased by combining them with the enhancement of stairwell attractiveness (see section: Create supportive working environment) and/or using directional signs (see the following means).
Encouraging stair-use with directional signs, such as arrows and footprints on the floor leading to stairwell from the point-of-choice between the stairs and the elevator or the escalator. The effectiveness of these signs can be increased by combining them with the enhancement of stairwell attractiveness (see section: Create supportive working environment) and/or using motivational messages (see the previous means).