Workers across Bucks were seen leaping in the air today - to show their support for the campaign which encourages staff to take active lunch-breaks to protect their health.
The ‘Leap Day leap’ was organised by Leap, the sport and activity partnership for Bucks, who are leading the campaign, called the Workplace Challenge, across the county.
Workers ranging from office staff, nurses and council workers through to firemen responded to the challenge by jumping in the air for the cameras.
Mark Ormerod, director of Leap, said: “We are delighted with the enthusiastic response from companies and workers across the area.
“There are more health benefits for an inactive person in taking 30 minutes of exercise than there is for a marathon runner doing an extra mile.”
Organisations that took part in the Leap Day leap included Bucks Fire and Rescue Service, Bucks Student Union, Hartwell Partnership which has an office in Aylesbury, Stoke Mandeville Stadium and the public heealth team at Bucks County Council.
Angela Hamlin, HR Director at High-Wycombe based Johnson & Johnson, said: “Here at Johnson & Johnson – Britain’s Healthiest Company – we are passionate about the health and well-being of our people.
“We fully encourage our employees to keep active while at work and our team here at High Wycombe has access to a free on site fitness centre.
“Many of them also participate in a range of different physical and sporting activities before and after work or during the lunch break including running, football and netball.
“We are really proud of our efforts and, like Leap, our ambition is to ensure our employees stay fit and healthy through increasing their physical activity.”
The county council’s public health team marked the day by taking a brisk walk together along the canal in Aylesbury.
Team administrator Lorraine Gomm said: “We really believe physical activity during the day is essential for keeping us fit, re-energising and making us more productive.
Fraser Pearson, a spokesman for Bucks Fire & Rescue Service said: “We are very supportive of this idea.
“The modern-day fire service doesn’t just put out fires and rescue people – we also are keen to encourage people to lead healthy lives and stay active.”
FCC Environment, the company which looks after the county’s Household Waste Recycling Centres also enthusiastically backed the idea from the start. Spokeswoman Julie Fourcade said: “It’s really important for us that our workers take the appropriate breaks and don’t work uninterrupted during the day.”
Evidence shows that taking breaks not only boosts the health of workers, but also benefits companies because it improves productivity and morale, as well as cutting down on sickness absence.
To find out more visit www.leapwithus.org.uk/what-can-i-do/workplace-challenge.