Most workers struggle to find time to exercise

Following a screening of thousands of Irish workers last year, Irish Life Health (ILH) has released new insights on the workforce which shows that 71 per cent of Irish workers struggle to find time to exercise and over half of the nation’s workforce are overweight and one in three have high cholesterol. The study also reported on workers’ weight, with 42 per cent gaining weight when starting a job and almost one in five adding over a stone.

ILH calls on Ireland’s workplaces to participate in the six-week Workplace Fitness Challenge, using the free Move Your MET app. Developed in tandem with DCU, the fitness challenge is designed to inspire Ireland’s workforce to increase its level of physical activity to become fitter, healthier and happier. The challenge starts next Monday and runs until June 30. People are asked to measure their cardiovascular fitness level using an app.

All participants need to do is input their data, either walk a mile or run 1.5 miles, and then calculate their score. Fitness is measured by MET score: an increase of one point in a person’s MET score results in an equivalent reduction of 15 per cent risk of a cardiovascular incident and a reduction of risk of premature death by 13 per cent.

The challenge is open to all companies. A series of Urban Hike Maps have been launched to show workers in Dublin, Cork and Galway locations for exercise. The maps are downloadable on www.irishlifehealth.ie/moveyourmet/resource-centre/. Former Ireland rugby international Gordon D’Arcy has been hired as an ambassador for the challenge.

D’Arcy (right) is pictured with DCU exercise psychologist Dr Sarah Kelly, with Prof Niall Moyna, head of the School of Health and Human Performance at DCU and Jim Dowdall, ILH

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