OSHA commends the battle against health risks from sitting at work
SAP wins award for ‘Run Your Health’ lifestyle campaign ’s-Hertogenbosch (Netherlands), 22nd of March 2017 – SAP Netherlands has won a Good Practice Award for its vitality programme, ‘Run Your Health’. The campaign has been aimed at getting the technology firm’s employees to sit less and move more, including in the workplace. OSHA, Europe’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, presented the award.
Fit and healthy employees are happier and more productive. In particular, sitting for a long time causes a whole range of serious health issues. Those who sit a lot have twice as much chance of diabetes and two-and-a-half times as much risk of heart and vascular disease, according to research by the University of Leicester. This also applies to people who take part in a lot of sports activities alongside their seated jobs. That’s a worrying fact in a labour market which is steadily greying. Competitive element That’s why SAP joined partner Its My Life in 2015 to launch the lifestyle campaign ‘Run Your Health’, in which it encourages its staff to undertake healthier behaviour in the workplace. With a biofeedback tracker, employees monitor their movement during the day, and receive warnings if there has been long-term inactivity. It even added a competitive element, by letting the results be compared against each other through an online dashboard, and awarding prizes.
Alongside this the company also implements several subtle measures to tempt its staff to sit less and move more. These include reducing the number of waste-bins per department, and installing signs at the lifts encouraging the use of the stairs instead. SAP has also invested in ergonomic workplace facilities such as deskbikes and standing/sitting desks. Finally, SAP has given workshops on topics like sleep, good nutrition, working dynamically and mental flexibility. This was done not just during the annual health week, but throughout the year. Among its future plans the company wants to set up areas where employees can hold meetings while standing.
According to Simone Langewouters, Global Health Ambassador of SAP Nederland, the campaign has already borne fruit. “More than 250 employees are participating or have participated in the programme. The number of seated hours has declined by 56 per cent since the start. Almost everyone says they feel fitter and are more aware of the movement pattern and the negative consequences of long-term sitting.”
OSHA believes the Run Your Health programme sets an example for other organisations. The health body has commended the active approach to problems related to a greying labour market. According to OSHA, SAP is instituting an environment which will motivate its staff actively to enjoy a healthier lifestyle. The organisation also praises the management’s strong commitment to the programme.
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