Firms are being offered the chance to take part in a free 10-week programme of cycling and walking activities aimed at helping to improve their employees’ health and wellbeing.
The programme of discovery walks and rides, run by Leicester City Council, is aimed at encouraging people to use their lunch breaks or commuting time to fit in some physical activity.
It offers participating businesses a series of led walks and cycle rides on pedal or electric bikes. Activities can take place either before, after or during work.
Council staff can also offer advice on planning journeys to and from work by bike or on foot. And employees who take part in the scheme will get weekly emails with tips and links to useful websites, such as the Choose How You Move local journey planner.
Participants also get points for completing cycling and walking challenges, with the person collecting the most points in 10 weeks winning a prize.
As well as helping to improve employees’ fitness, the scheme aims to normalise active travel, helping staff to save money – and possibly time – on their daily commute to work.
Deputy city mayor Cllr Adam Clarke, who leads on public health and the environment, said: “About 40 per cent of adults in the city say they are physically active for less than the recommended 150 minutes a week, and they cite lack of time as the biggest reason for this.
“We also know that the majority of Leicester’s pollution comes from road traffic emissions, and that car journeys are concentrated around commuter journeys in the morning and evening.
“This initiative aims to promote the benefits of active travel to employees and demonstrate that cycling and walking can be good for people, good for business, good for the environment and can also free up road space to help keep our city moving.”
Employees have reported that they are unsure if they could cycle the distance to their workplace, or if they’d know which would be the best route to take if they were on foot or bike. The led activities are designed to help people overcome such barriers.
There’s also an option for people to try out electric bikes – which council staff can bring along – as a faster and more convenient way to get around the city.
Businesses that have already signed up to the free scheme include Pick Everard, Next and Hastings Direct.
Businesses wishing to sign up should contact email@example.com