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Cath Everett

Sift Media

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

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News: Sainbury’s evaluates value of “micro-exercise” in cutting sickness rates


Sainsbury’s is currently evaluating whether encouraging its staff to become more active by taking “micro-exercise” breaks can help cut levels of sickness absence.

The supermarket chain introduced a six-month pilot project at its Coventry satellite office earlier this year, which saw 85 workers perform a series of three-minute stretches using Power Plate‘s vibration training machine at various points throughout their working day.
All participants received an induction, and a random sample of 41 was asked to complete a bi-monthly questionnaire in order to evaluate any benefits.
Tracy Thornton, Sainsbury’s HR service implementation manager, said that some employees had used the equipment both to perform a variety of stretches and undertake longer workouts before and after work.
“It proved to be a convenient way for staff to re-energise themselves during the working day. A number of our staff reported an increase in productivity, reduction in stress and improved circulation as a result,” she added.
According to the findings of the questionnaire, nine out of 10 respondents noticed that their energy levels and productivity increased, while just over two thirds felt their stress levels fell as a result of using the machine.
A huge 70% also said that they took fewer sick days during the final three months of the trial. Sainsbury’s has yet to decide whether it will introduce the equipment on a permanent basis, however.
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Cath Everett

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

Read more from Cath Everett

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