Kirklees Council, University of Huddersfield, Nether Hall Learning Campus
Our report on Environmental Nudges for Health published in August 2018 detailed a project completed for Kirklees Council, the University of Huddersfield and Nether Hal Learning Campus, which was designed to change behaviour in relation to perceptions about activity in the workplace.
We conducted focus groups to assess the mindset of employees before and after interventions were made. They showed that employees found it hard to be physically active:
“I’ve either got time and no energy or energy and no time.”
And that time for potential activity was directly affected by the pressures of the working day.
“If I’m down on my hours, if I’ve been late in the morning I’ll work through lunch.”
We implemented a number of environmental nudges (prompts) in a range of formats and locations (e.g. on their way to work and in the workplace itself) to engage employees in thinking about the problems and empowering them to take action.
“(The nudges) did prompt me to actually walk… I have actually got up from my desk because I was a bugger for eating at the screen.”
“It worked for me. It is the motivation that’s the big thing for me that’s missing. I think I need to change what I’m doing so the (nudges) were useful for me and it worked in that respect.”
So we have shown that we can change behaviour and empower people to take the first steps towards a more active working day. We are now discussing the next steps with the Council as to how we can create a long-term, sustainable programme to actually change the culture in the workplace around activity.
“We were approached by CP Active to implement some of their behavioural change theories around health and activity behaviour. Working alongside the University of Huddersfield, this presented an ideal opportunity for Kirklees Council to trial these innovative ideas that have never been tested properly in the UK before. The scheme… will help to shape our approach to increasing activity levels for communities in Kirklees in the future.”
Alison Millbourn (MPH), Public Health Manager, Kirklees Council