The workplace

The Workplace

This section of the website aims to provide you with information relating to nutrition and physical activity in the workplace.
From this section of the website you can access information relating to research and surveys, campaigns, national and local initiatives, key resources, funding and useful links.
Research has illustrated the link between promoting health in the workplace and positive outcomes of reduced sickness and absence and increased productivity. Targeting the employees in the workplace is useful because they spend most of their waking hours in work.

Data, Research and Surveys

The Welsh Health Survey (2011) showed that
  • 29% of adults reported meeting  the physical activity guidelines during the last week
  • 33% of adults reported eating five or more portions of fruit and vegetables the previous day
  • 57% of adults were overweight or obese.
This information and others from research and surveys can inform priorities and actions for workplace health promotion. They can also form the basis of a staff survey.
In 2012, Sodexo Limited, published the Sodexo Lunch at Work report, which offers insight into the habits of working adults at lunchtime. More than 2,000 interviews were conducted among the UK working population, as well as in-depth discussions with more than 20 senior executives from the food and beverage industry.
The key findings related to health and wellbeing were:
• one in ten workers are skipping lunch at least once a week; 60% said that as a result they are less productive in the afternoon
• healthy food is rated the fourth priority, after taste, good value and convenience
• 18% of respondents said they were provided with healthy food in their workplace restaurants
• the average length of a working lunch is 29 minutes. Influenced by work pressures, 22% of workers are taking shorter lunch breaks in the last year and only 3% are taking longer lunch breaks
Sodexo states “The Lunch at Work report helps us to identify the current trends in the marketplace and to understand what is important to our consumers. It also supports the ongoing evolution and innovation in our food offers.”


Campaigns can raise awareness of the small steps employees can take to improve their diet or physical activity levels. They can be used as part of a health week or month. Possible campaigns which can be promoted are:
Diabetes UK Measure Up   – aims to raise awareness of diabetes particularly highlighting the link between the risk of Type 2 diabetes and a person’s waist measurement.
The Welsh Government launched Change4Life / Newid am Oes in Wales to challenge people to lead more active lives and develop better eating habits. Change4Life is a sub-brand of Health Challenge Wales for addressing physical activity and healthy eating.

Active Commuter – Sustrans have developed a campaign aimed at people who want to include active commuting in to their work day. Active Commuter is an e-tips campaign which shares expert advice on building walking and cycling into your day.



The FOOD programme was a public-private consortium made up of six European countries (Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Italy, Spain and Sweden), aimed at promoting access to healthy food choices by adapting both what restaurants serve and consumers lifestyles and habits. For more information please visit

National Level Initiatives

At a national level there are a number of initiatives taking place to promote health in the workplace.

Health at Work: The Corporate Standard 
Health at Work: The Corporate Standard is the quality mark for workplace health promotion in Wales. Administered by the Welsh Government, it is presented in bronze, silver, gold and platinum categories to public or private sector organisations which implement policies and practices designed to promote the health and well-being of their employees including those addressing healthy eating and physical activity.
Small Workplace Health Award
The Small Workplace Health Award is a national mark of quality for health and well-being in the workplace, for businesses and organisations employing fewer than 50 people. It has three levels of award (bronze, silver and gold) to recognise each development stage achieved. Free support and advice is available for small businesses and organisations to develop health and well-being initiatives in the workplace.
Health Challenge Wales
Health Challenge Wales is a call to people and organisations to work together for a healthier nation. Health Challenge Wales is the national focus of efforts to improve health and well-being. It recognises that a wide range of factors – economic, social and environmental – have an impact on health, so that action in all these areas can help create a healthier nation. Food and Fitness is a key theme of Health Challenge Wales. It stresses that as employers and service providers, your organisation can make a difference to the health of the people of Wales. It endorses the use of the Health Challenge Wales Logo on workplace health literature.

Sharing Practice – Local Initiatives

Food Vision Case Study – Experience Food at Work  The Food Vision website includes a case study of a pilot initiative aimed at improving eating behaviours in Breckland Council, Norfolkthrough a number of interventions including, an honesty fruit bowl, chef visits and a healthy lunch pack delivery service.
‘With a pinch of salt’ Men and Salt: A workplace intervention
The Men’s Health Forum has produced a report detailing a workplace intervention examining men’s use of salt in their diet.

The intervention sponsored by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) was carried out with the support of Royal Mail. The primary aim was to develop, pilot and evaluate a workplace-based health improvement intervention with the intention of learning the most effective ways of communicating the FSA’s key salt messages to men on low incomes.

The intervention involved combining offering low salt products in the canteen, providing literature, health education sessions and tasting sessions.

To download the report visit the Mens Health Forum website.

Key Resources

British Heart Foundation Think Fit!  A guide to developing a workplace activity programme. The aim of this pack is to help increase the activity levels of the workforce, both within and outside the workplace. It can be used by employers of all sizes and types of organisation.
Health Challenge Wales Good Practice Guide: Catering for meetings and events  – this booklet provides guidance when providing healthy catering at meetings and events.
CSP Fit for Work Leaflet – The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) has published advice on staying fit and healthy in the office. If you’re suffering from health problems that seem to be aggravated at work, physiotherapists can help.
The resources database can be searched by activity, target group and type of resource ranging from leaflets and posters to stickers and teaching resources. This database links to over 300 resources which can either be downloaded or ordered directly in hard copy. These can be given out during education sessions or after lifestyle screening or placed on notice boards.
CSP Fitness Profits – Physiotherapy advice to help keep your staff healthy and improve productivity
The NHS Employers website has a section which provides information, advice, guidance and links to best practice in implementing health and well-being in the workplace. This section of the website has been created to support local health and well-being leads to design and implement local strategies to improve the health of the NHS workforce.
Pedometer challenge pack for workplaces – the British Heart Foundation (BHF) has produced a pedometer challenge pack which provides workplaces with all the resources needed to set up a walking challenge at work. This four-week team challenge is a fun and easy way for employees to improve their physical and mental health and it creates a positive team spirit too. The pack is free but the BHF ask for a donation of £10.
Guidance on producing active and sustainable travel directions for meetings – Sustrans have produced guidance on producing active and sustainable travel directions which can be used when organising meetings and conferences. The guidance aims to help people to be physically active by encouraging them to travel actively when they attend a meeting or conference. It can also be used for new staff as part of their induction.


Sports Wales Community Chest  – This is a National Lottery funded grant aid scheme. It is designed to encourage more people to become more active more often. The maximum grant is now £1,500 in any 12 month period.
For further funding opportunities please visit the funding page.

Useful Links