April brings warmer days, lighter evenings and fresh spring air so why not get outside more this month! Getting outside may sound simple enough but we should take time in our schedules to reap the benefits of getting active outdoors and inspire others to do the same.

Natural light and time around nature has proven benefits for our physical and mental wellbeing. As well as being a low-cost activity, enjoying the outdoors can reduce anxiety, improve your mood and make you feel restful and at ease. Incorporating time in the fresh into your day can have short and long term benefits which can positively impact your work and day to day life.

Spending time outside can literally put a spring in your step and during Stress Awareness Month we should be utilising the great outdoors. Time spent in nature can lower our heart rate and blood pressure which contributes to stress and the feelings associated with anxiety or panic which means setting aside this time to get outside can reduce stress levels.

There are different ways to include allotted outdoor time into your schedule, this could mean suggesting to your colleagues that you take your meeting outside and walk together. Similarly, you could travel to work or school actively instead of taking a car or public transport which will increase your time spent in the fresh air. Small changes and understanding the need to prioritise time spent outside can be the first step to better physical and mental health.

Getting outside doesn’t only refer to walking or running. Be creative and think outside the box, to find what works best for you and what will boost your mental wellbeing. Gardening, for example, is a great gentle activity that can be for all ages and if you plant vegetables or fruits then you can even put your time outside to use and harvest your own healthy food!
Get outside this April and feel the benefit! Visit: www.activeessex.org/find-your-active


Free Bike Maintenance and Cycle Maintenance for your workplace

We are pleased to announce that the Essex County Council’s Cycle Training Team can run a selection of bike maintenance sessions for your staff/community to help them get out and about on their bikes completely free of charge.

The ideas below are what we think might fit within the offer, however we are more interested in supporting with ideas that fit for them. It could be the below combined with a ride if its community groups, we would just like to reach these groups

This is fully funded through the Active Travel Capability Fund. The below is what we thought might suit,

  1. Instructor led bike maintenance session (performed on a demonstration bike) – we will set up a ‘workstation’ on your site, where employees/residents will be shown what to look for on a bike repair, how to recognise when it needs to go to a qualified mechanic and teach them how to fix a puncture.
  2. D.I.Y bike maintenance session (own bike required) – we will set up a ‘workstation’ on your site, where employees/residents bring their own bikes, and our mechanic will show them how to diagnose and fix various problems. They will also be taught how to repair a puncture.
  3. Run a Dr Bike workshop (bike dropped off and collected once repaired), where employees/residents bring their own bikes and leave with our mechanic for them to check and then carry out any minor repairs needed. This would be for around 5 hours. In conjunction with this option, we would include a puncture repair workshop to teach people how to fix these themselves.

We may be able to offer one option in isolation or a combination of two, depending on the needs of the business/community. If you are interested in finding out more about this offer or would like to discuss further, please contact cycletrainingteam@essex.gov.uk.


Essex Food Education Community Partner Application 2023

We have an exciting opportunity to share with you.  We been fortunate to have been awarded some funding from the Household Support Fund to support a food education program to families and young people.  Just like previous years we are offering this funding to our ActivAte providers and locally trusted organisations and community groups as we know you are working directly with the target audience

We are inviting you to complete the application to deliver a 6-8 week program to families and individuals, educating them around cooking on a budget, energy saving ways of cooking as well as healthy eating.  The program will include providing ingredients as well as necessary equipment for the participants and can include an activity session for the children running alongside the cooking sessions to keep the children entertained.

Please follow this link to complete an application https://forms.monday.com/forms/8689f6ab84c4e9e603be2525eba55df7?r=euc1


Morning and Lunchtime 15 minute online Workouts

Workplace Zoom Sessions:

Monday’s 9:00 – 9.15am: Lindsey – Move and Stretch  Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 857 0196 5702
Passcode: 030174

Tuesday’s 12:00 – 12:15 with Chloe Townsend – Lunchtime Energiser  Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 830 4829 4750
Passcode: 714925

Wednesday’s 08.45 – 09:00am with Chloe Townsend – Cardio Blast  Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 837 396

Thursday’s 09:00 – 09:15 am with Chloe Townsend – Total Tone  Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 854 5969 0931
Passcode: 629695

Friday’s 08.45 – 09:00 am with Lindsey Abbott – Move and Stretch  Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 837 7303 0512
Passcode: 218151

Workplace Pledge and Active Travel Toolkit

You can download social medial pledge cards, which can be used in emails, to help show what you and your workplace/team will pledge to do.  You can also access the Newsletter and other useful resources  For more details about the Pledge and to download your Active Travel Toolkit and Workplace guide

Find Your Active is focused on helping people find time to move, get more active and enjoy the benefits. This month it about bringing to focus the importance of workplaces encouraging physical activity.

Working in a busy office can often result in long hours spent at a desk but workplaces and their employees should adopt a new way of working in which physical activity opportunities are injected into every day. This could include creating a 50 minute meeting with a 10 minute stretch to finish which encourages a group movement stretch to relieve aching muscles and energise. Small changes such as this could initiate long-term benefits for both the employees and the workplace.

Not only are there physical benefits to promoting an active workplace but mental benefits also. Activities such as stretching, or yoga can increase serotonin levels and subsequently reduce stress and stabilise one’s mood. In a stressful working environment this could be vital.

Outside of the office, travelling to work is another opportunity to get active! If you can, why not try walking, scooting or cycling into the office to increase your activity levels whilst also doing your bit to reduce the greenhouse emissions and help improve air quality.

Introducing these small changes into your life could help in the long term and increase your energy levels day to day which will reflect in your working life.

To find out more, visit the webpage below, or get in touch to see how we can support.