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Reflecting on ‘Get On Your Feet Britain Week’

A few weeks ago was Get On Your Feet Britain week in the UK, a time to rekindle our commitment to physical health and explore fun ways to incorporate more movement into our daily lives. In the UK — like in other countries, many of us lead increasingly sedentary lives. Every week, therefore, should be an opportunity to integrate more movement into our daily routines. Dialogue's health engagement platform remains your ally in making active living a seamless part of your day-to-day.


The current state of physical activity in the UK

Despite the well-documented health benefits, a significant portion of the UK population leads a sedentary lifestyle, with almost 40% of adults not meeting the minimum recommended 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per week. The Get On Your Feet Britain campaign highlighted this issue, inspiring an increase in daily movement.

Thanks to Dialogue's platform, many organizations across the globe have taken significant steps to encourage physical activity among their workforce and customers. Remarkably, nearly 90% of users on our platform exceed the recommended 150 minutes, with an average engagement of 400 minutes of weekly activity.

The surprising benefits of physical activity: more than just weight loss

When we think about physical activity, the first benefit that often comes to mind is weight loss. However, regular  exercise offers a myriad of health benefits that extend well beyond BMI:

  • Boost mental health: It's well-documented that exercise can significantly boost your mood and mental health. Regular physical activity releases endorphins, (the body's natural feel-good chemicals), which can help alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety. A recent study highlighted that exercise can be as effective as therapy for depression, and is often more effective than antidepressants.

  • Prevent chronic diseases: Engaging in regular exercise is a powerful way to prevent or manage a diverse array of health issues, such as stroke, type 2 diabetes, various cancers, arthritis, and even accidental falls. More importantly, it bolsters cardiovascular health, which can substantially reduce the risk of heart disease by helping to maintain or improve blood pressure and cholesterol levels. 

    According to the World Health Organization's Global Status Report on Physical Activity 2022, physical inactivity is projected to contribute to nearly 500 million cases of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and other noncommunicable diseases globally between 2020 and 2030. This will result in healthcare costs of up to US$ 27 billion annually if we don't take steps to become more active.

  • Enhance bone and muscle health: As we age, we risk losing muscle mass and bone density, but regular physical activity can counteract these effects. Weight-bearing exercises, like running, walking, or weight training, strengthen bones and muscles, which can help maintain strength and mobility as we age. This is crucial for maintaining independence in later years.

  • Improve sleep quality: If you're finding it hard to get a good night's sleep, exercise could be the key. Engaging in physical activity not only helps you fall asleep quicker, but also deepens your sleep, reducing nighttime awakenings and increasing the restorative quality of your sleep cycles. A study in Science Daily reveals that individuals who exercise for at least 150 minutes weekly report a 65% improvement in sleep quality. 

    A further study of a randomized control trial, published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, noted that participants who performed aerobic exercise over six months experienced significant enhancements in sleep quality. This includes quicker sleep onset and fewer disruptions during the night, compared to those who did not exercise.

  • Extend your lifespan: Regular physical activity is key to living a longer, healthier life. Being active reduces the risk of dying early from the leading causes of death, like heart disease and some cancers. In fact, people who are physically active for at least 150 minutes a week have a 33% lower risk of all-cause mortality than those who are physically inactive.

Tips and strategies to get active

Getting more active doesn't require drastic changes; small, consistent adjustments can make a big difference. Consider incorporating walking meetings at work, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or engaging in hobbies that help you move more. Local fitness classes, cycling groups, or even online workouts can offer both support and motivation.

Call to action

We encourage organizations across the UK to maintain the momentum from Get On Your Feet week. Whether it’s organizing a corporate walkathon, participating in community yoga, or simply increasing daily steps, every action counts. To help organizations maintain the spirit of Get On Your Feet week and promote an active workforce year-round, Dialogue offers features tailored to your team's needs:

  1. Activity challenges: Make fitness fun and competitive with challenges that encourage walking, running, and cycling.

  2. Workout library: Access a diverse library of on-demand workouts, from weight training and circuit boxing to Pilates and HIIT training. Whether beginners or fitness enthusiasts, members will find activities that suit their skill levels and interests.

  3. Progress tracking: Monitor progress toward physical activity goals with personalized metrics, allowing users to see their growth, celebrate milestones, and stay motivated on their fitness journey.

Get On Your Feet week might be over, but its spirit should live on in our daily lives. Dialogue’s platform supports diverse organizations, from employers to insurers, in fostering active lifestyles that lead to healthier populations, reduced healthcare costs, and fewer days lost to illness. Let’s keep moving and live better, supported every step of the way by Dialogue.

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