The research is clear: physical activity and exercise are one of the most important contributors towards maintaining and improving good physical health and mental health. It has shown to be effective in reducing the risk of heart disease, cancer, musculoskeletal disorders, and mental health problems such as stress, anxiety and depression. In some cases, exercise can be more effective than drugs in the management of these conditions.
At Back in Action UK, we believe then, that Occupational Health and Wellbeing Services are not complete without physiotherapists, the exercise rehabilitation specialists, to deliver physical activity interventions into our service delivery. We believe that by doing so, we can proactively help with all sickness absence, not just musculoskeletal cases. Furthermore, the relationship between physical health and mental health is getting increasingly stronger, and so by incorporating physical activity intervention into our service, we know that we are providing the most effective treatment.
At Back in Action UK, we deliver many physical activity services either as part of our on-site physiotherapy service, or as ad-hoc or continual stand-alone services:
Physical Wellness Clinics
On-site drop-in clinics run to encourage employees to improve their fitness and physical health. The initial session takes basic objective measures such as weight and blood pressure and fitness testing. The employee is then given an exercise programme and lifestyle advice to follow based on the patient’s goals. They are then followed up at future clinics, where testing is repeated and programmes adjusted to keep the employee motivated. The benefits of the Clinic is clear:
- To alert employees to potential health risks such as elevated blood pressure, high BMI or waist circumference. Employees are more likely to have these tests done in the work place than booking an appointment with their GP.
- To aid in increasing the health of the workforce by monitoring predictors of illness such as cardiovascular disease.
- Support healthy work environment
- Fitness testing is an effective way to motivate people to lead a physically active life.
On-site Group Exercise Classes
Whether it’s teaching exercises that can be done at a desk, or teaching a warm-up programme to a group of manual workers before they start their shift, the benefits of encouraging staff to exercise will reduce their risk of developing or re-occurring a musculoskeletal disorder. It is this proactive approach which is at the root of all we do at Back in Action UK and means that as the employer, your Company will see the biggest impact on reducing your sickness absence rates and associated costs.
We can deliver workplace exercise classes either as a one-off, periodically, or on a regular ongoing basis, depending on what you want to achieve.
Return-to Work Programmes
Often when an employee has been injured and off work for a period of time, they are deconditioned and have functional deficits which make returning to work difficult. An exercise based programme to improve their strength, mobility, fitness and endurance with the primary focus on returning the employee effectively back to work.
Our injury prevention workshops have been designed as a proactive tool with the aim of teaching employees about good health work behaviours and effective management of any work-related aches and pains in order to reduce the prevalence of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WRMSDs) and associated sickness absence. A 1 hour on-site workshop is delivered to groups of between 8-10 people. The workshop will be engaging and interactive and include:
- Education on musculoskeletal injuries, pain normalisation, and advice on self-management for aches/pains, including the importance of early intervention and the need to not ignore them which could lead to deterioration or injury and time off work.
- Teaching/motivating employees to do a practical bespoke stretching and strengthening programme that will increase strength and maintain/improve flexibility with the message that they are expected to do this programme before the start of every shift, and during breaks where possible.
- Signposting for other physical/mental problems such as smoking cessation, weight loss, stress management – all these have an impact on the risk of developing a work-related injury or disorder.
- A bespoke company branded handout highlighting key takeaway messages and the recommended warm-up exercise programme (optional)