BHF launches campaign for healthy workplaces

Graham Willgoss

The British Heart Foundation has launched a two-year government-backed campaign to make England's workplaces healthier.

Staff at targeted workplaces will be given pedometers and encouraged to take more exercise. They will also be exposed to awareness campaigns on smoking, alcohol consumption and diet as part of nine pilot 'healthy interventions' research projects.

"People spend up to 60 per cent of their waking hours at work, yet the workplace as a health-promoting environment is under-used," said Nicki Cooper, head of education at the foundation.

"This programme has been designed to find out which small changes can bring about big differences in employees' health and achieve a lasting improvement to their lifestyles," Cooper added.

The programme is being funded with £800,000 from the Department of Health, £500,000 from Active England - the Big Lottery Fund and Sport England's joint funding programme - and £170,000 from the charity.

The foundation has run other campaigns on behalf of the Government. Although this programme does not specifically target heart disease, according to foundation spokesman Ian Fannon, the health issues it covers are "core territory" in terms of tackling its causes.

The project, which begins this spring, will be evaluated by a team from Loughborough University's School of Sports and Exercise Science.

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