Eight CSR Ways to Boost Wellbeing for Mental Health Week 2024

Tony Eames on Eight CSR Ways to Boost Wellbeing for Mental Health Week 2024

Tony Eames, “Movement Champion” and Founder of Total Active Hub explores eight ways to use CSR initiatives to get staff moving and enhance their wellbeing at the start of Mental Health Awareness Week 2024 (which this year focuses on; “Movement: Moving more for our mental health.”)

“In the corporate world, stress is a constant companion, with latest figures highlighting that work-related stress accounts for a staggering £13bn in lost workdays in the UK.[i] This is a wake-up call for employers up and down the country.

“Physical exercise is well known as a stress-buster, also helping boost energy, happiness, and reducing the risk of health conditions like heart disease and stroke. Yet, worryingly, a quarter of adults worldwide don’t meet the recommended 150 minutes of weekly physical activity.[ii]

“As a former corporate professional, I recognized this issue and founded ‘Total Active Hub’ four years ago. Our mission? To motivate the UK workforce to embrace a healthier lifestyle.

“Our approach is simple. We believe in the power of intrinsic rewards. That’s why our ‘Movement for Good’ programme offers a range of incentives that promote both engagement and activity. For instance, ‘Active Education’ provides school meals, ‘Active Trees’ contributes to environmental sustainability, and our latest initiative, ‘Active Charity’, channels employee energy towards meaningful causes. It’s a win-win situation – employees improve their health and wellbeing, and their efforts create additional value.

“So, what’s stopping businesses from making employee health a priority? How can it become an integral part of their corporate culture and CSR initiatives? I believe today’s employers have a responsibility to help encourage and motivate their employees to take ownership of their health, but fully appreciate this can be a difficult area to navigate, particularly for those in desk-based environments. Based on my experience with leading UK companies, here are some recommendations to help get things off to a good start:

  • Communication: Understand your employees’ interests and needs and develop a CSR programme that caters to everyone, with a clear and common vision/goal. Include employees in all aspects of the decision-making process particularly when, for example, choosing aligned charity partners.
  • Work-Activity Balance: Allocate specific times during the workweek for employees to engage in physical activities without the pressure of deadlines.
  • Inclusivity: Foster an inclusive culture where everyone feels welcome to participate. Develop company-wide events and challenges to promote CSR initiatives and ensure activities cater to all ages and fitness levels.
  • Ambassadors: Appoint dedicated ‘ambassadors’ to motivate your team and address any issues.
  • Recognition: Celebrate your team’s achievements. Recognition, no matter how small, encourages employees to persevere.
  • Reward: Create rewards which encourage active participation and allow employees the flexibility to choose their rewards, such as planting trees or donating school meals.
  • Healthy Competition: Some employees thrive on competition. Tracking challenges and achievements can boost their motivation. Use a platform such as Active Hub which allows employees to track their own and their teams’ achievements.
  • Role Models: Employers should lead by example. Visibility of senior team leaders participating can foster a supportive atmosphere.

“Research shows that 97% of employees are more motivated to exercise with colleagues, and 73% report being more productive as a result.iii Total Active Hub embodies this spirit. Last year, we planted over 100,000 trees globally and funded over 8,600 school meals.

“And, we have high hopes for our ‘Active Charity’ initiative launching during this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week (13-19 May).

“Ultimately, it’s the unifying aspects of being engaged and active that are key to motivation and why I hope our ‘Movement for Good’ campaign will resonate with so many businesses moving forward. We spend a large proportion of our lives working, so it’s crucial the health and wellbeing of employees forms a key part of the business agenda.” For more information, please visit www.totalactivehub.com/solutions/corporate-social-responsibility.

i https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12889-020-08580-1
ii World Health Organisation iii Total Active surveyed 406 respondents who used the Total Active Hub platform between Feb-23 to Jan-24
Hippocratic Post: The Hippocratic Editorial and VT team. Please send your suggestions to submissions@hippocraticpost.com

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