News : Call Centre Launches ‘Fitness Bootcamp' to Get Staff Away from their Desks
Cardiff, Wales, Sept 2, 2016 -- If you're sat at a desk all day in work, your exercise routine probably consists of walking to the kitchen to make a cuppa or nipping to the loo.
But, this can not only be bad for your health but for your productivity at work too.
So this Cardiff call centre has decided to take a stand (literally).
Firstsource - a business process outsourcing provider in Cardiff Bay - is launching a new bootcamp for its employees.
It comes after an osteopath in Cardiff warned he is seeing growing numbers of people coming to him with back and neck problems from sitting down all day in work, ITV reported .
A recent study also found that sedentary office work can be more damaging for health than smoking.
According to Firstsource, some of their 1200 employees can be sat down for up to 10 hours per shift while dealing with customer queries.
Kathryn Chivers, Firstsource Solutions Vice President, said: "Verbally and mentally, our staff are superstars in their activity levels, but the nature of a contact centre means all of this happens sat down at their desks.
"Time and again we see staff who join us as their first job out of the education system seem surprised when they're putting on weight, having previously been used to eating whatever they like and getting away with it.
"Throughout the course of an eight hour shift, the typical movements away from the desk can be to get a biscuit from the kitchen, to go to the loo or to go for a cigarette.
"Anyone who's worked in an office environment will know that the kitchen can be full of treats and we've already begun to offer free fruit as an alternative."
Firstsource staff will now be able to enrol on a 12 week fitness challenge, designed to get them away from their desks and working together to become "fitter, healthier, happier and more productive".
The new initiative will see them undergo a full body and diet analysis under the supervision of a personal trainer. The holistic programme, created by Cardiff based Operation Fitness and the Welsh Contact Centre Forum.
Staff will get a detailed report on their body composition, muscle mass, fat percentage and obesity levels, analysing everything from whether they're drinking enough water to if one side of the body is developed more than the other through typing or answering the phone.
They will then each receive tailored advice on the exercises they can do to become fitter, along with guidance on a grocery list of healthier foods to complement their more active lifestyle.
"We know that a healthier workforce is a happier workforce which is why we've been so keen to pioneer and pay for this scheme," Kathryn added.
"We're expecting brilliant results which can only help improve our business."
Amy Foat, assistant HR manager at Firstsource said: "I spend most of my working day sat down so getting more active is a must.
"I’m very proud to work for a company that supports us both mentally and financially to get more active – we have been gifted with both dietary plans and exercises plans, something that would cost us hundreds of pounds.
"I’m looking forward to taking on this 12 week journey."
Mark Jenkin, a team leader at Firstsource Solutions said: "Having broken my leg last year playing football and just coming back from injury, I’ve struggled and been unhappy with my weight and I felt I didn’t have the drive I once did.
"I’ve been shelling out on a gym membership for the past six months but with personal trainers being so expensive, it can be difficult to keep up.
"When I found out the programme was funded by Firstsource, this gave me the kick up the backside I needed.
"Since I signed up, I’ve already started to ride to work and started eating right again. I now have the determination in me where I want to be happy with my fitness and general health again.
"My message to other people sat at their desks in contact centres who felt the way I did is don’t accept things the way they are, have the courage to change them and get up and keep moving. Anything is possible. I can’t thank Firstsource enough for such a brilliant opportunity and putting a spring in my step again."
Sandra Busby, managing director at Welsh Contact Centre Forum said: "Like any office based organisation, contact centres rely on rooms full of people being sat down for long periods.
"Research tells us this isn’t good for our long-term health, but even in the short-term inactivity can lead to sickness absence which costs business time and money and causes disruption.
"We’re determined that contact centres shouldn’t just be places where you can have a healthy career, but a healthy life.
"Firstsource is a great example of a really innovative business that values its staff and we’re sure that once the benefits are felt in productivity terms, we’re hoping other contact centres in Wales and the rest of the UK will follow their lead."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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About Firstsource Solutions:
Firstsource employs nearly 27,000 worldwide at 46 centers in the U.S., United Kingdom, India, the Philippines and Sri Lanka, serving more than 100 clients in the banking, insurance, health care, media and telecommunications industries, including 21 companies in the Fortune 500.
Published: Monday, September 5, 2016