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          A series of workplace team challenges are being promoted to encourage employees and their managers place wellbeing higher on their list of priorities.

          Designed by health organisation Wellbeing 4 Business, the online programme is available for companies of all sizes and allows those in shared offices to work together to complete a series of team games to help them get fit.

          Called the Healthy Teams Challenge, it includes weight loss programmes, initiatives to encourage staff to be more active and a Workplace Cycle Challenge. On top of this, there is support if teams want to raise money for charity.

          Each challenge lasts for four weeks and can be used to help improve office wellbeing or simply be part of a fun-based team event. Participating employees can track and compare their progress on the website’s portal, which also shows exactly how an organisation is progressing in general.

          In addition, the tracking function allows employers to award prizes to teams that have made a special effort or to recognise one employee in particular.

          To highlight how effective group wellbeing challenges can be, Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Foundation NHS Trust ran the weight loss challenge on the site and lost nearly 40 stone (250 kg) with the top team losing 3.58 stone (22.78 kg) over the four-week period.

          Wellbeing 4 Business says this is a clear illustration of the power of team wellbeing challenges and how they can make significant changes to employee health.

          As heavy workloads are leading to increased stress and office jobs promote sedentary lifestyles, the issue of staff wellbeing is one that must be addressed by every organisation. Not only will this help to promote a healthier approach to life among employees, it will also lead to greater productivity and retention.

          Russell Turner, head of employee wellbeing at Marks & Spencer, said: “Investing in healthy and resilient teams means smart employers are building a healthy and resilient business, which is crucial in today’s competitive market.”

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