Posted By Jon Booker

Posted on29th May 2024

An ‘active space’ doesn’t necessarily mean a ‘fitness space’. It’s a flexible space away from the standard workspace that can be utilised to take a break from work, support mental wellbeing or encourage physical fitness.

Giving employees the opportunity to pause away from the workday is important. This increases your ability to problem-solve, speeds up levels of mental recovery and gives a better work-life balance.

Having a space in the office to pause and reflect decrease stress, make you more alert, and allows you to give your best performance. There doesn’t need to be an expectation to run a marathon or go to fitness classes every week, it could mean sitting in a neutral room away from your desk, stretching or even a place to collaborate with colleagues.

How is an Active Space different to an office gym?

An Active Space isn’t necessarily the same as a normal office gym. As a corporate fitness service, it’s created to encourage movement of any kind, or even just as a place to unwind away from your desk. We have a more holistic approach to the world of fitness and wellbeing. We want to remove some of those barriers and help people through their behavioural change cycle and contemplate using spaces that we’ve created and make them more accessible.

You might gain a lot from regular exercise, but everyone has their own limits and boundaries to assign personal meaning to this. Building a higher level of movement into daily lives will take time to become a habit and be a dynamic thought.

What can an Active Space be used for?

Active spaces give businesses the opportunity to be versatile with ways to encourage more movement. You don’t need to have a state-of-the-art gym installed to promote physical wellbeing in your business. The space can be used for anything from a place to recharge away from the workplace environment to intense fitness workouts.

Here are some ideas of how to utilise an active space:

  • Core workouts: You could include a fully equipped fitness centre for cardio and strength training.
  • Group exercise: Include a spin studio or a room for group classes such as yoga or HIT workouts.
  • Musculoskeletal health: Support flexibility, correct posture and muscle strengthening exercises. This can make a huge difference for the rehabilitation stage of MSK injuries.
  • Relaxation: Use the space to reset and encourage a mental health break
  • Movement: Re-energise and improve focus.
  • Collaboration: Spaces to support creative thinking.
  • Outdoor Active Spaces: To encourage movement away from the office.

How small can an Active Space be?

Do you have a 3m x 3m room in your workplace? This can be an active space. We could look at repurposing an old meeting room or pockets of space within buildings that give a ‘reset and recovery’ modality. It can be anything from lunchtime fitness room, a space for collaboration and team building exercises or a room that includes gym equipment.

What are the first steps for encouraging employees to move more?

Our annual Workplace Wellbeing Survey found that 38% of people took at least one day off for poor mental health in 2023, with 58% of people taking at least one day off for poor physical health. While studies show that moving more improves mental health, it can be difficult to find the first steps. Even stretching at your desk is a good start. Gradual changes are the ones that form new lifestyle habits. An Active Space is a great way to encourage employees to make healthy choices.

For more information on Active Spaces and employee wellbeing plans, view our page on Corporate Fitness Services.

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