Are we spending too much time sitting at work?

It’s not rocket science, we all know that we need to be more active, but how do we find the time in our busy lives?

One solution is to introduce activity into the places we spend most time, and for a lot of us this means the workplace.

In a news article recently published by The National Centre for Sport & Exercise Medicine, teams from the University of Leicester and Loughborough University investigated solutions to reducing the amount of time workers remain static during the day.  The research, funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) involved a group of 146 office workers.  Half received a ‘Stand More At Work’  programme (which involved working at height-adjustable workstations and information/education), the remainder continued as before.

After 12 months of this regime, the intervention group spent 83 minutes less per day sitting than the control group.

The article goes on to quote Dr Charlotte Edwardson, Associate Professor from the University of Leicester, who said: “Those who received the SMArT Work programme reported improvements in their work performance, work dedication and engagement, quality of life and reduced levels of sickness presenteeism, feelings of fatigue and musculoskeletal issues, such as lower back pain.”

While the results of simply standing more during the working week are impressive, the Loop at Work team at Table Tennis England want to take this one stage further.

Our mission is to see people taking time out of their day to be a bit more active, to interact with each other and to simply have some fun.

The well-being benefits of a game of lunch-time table tennis are endless: from creating positive morale; elevating heart rate; reducing stress levels; reducing absenteeism, increasing creativity to improving productivity, the list goes on.

 

Starting from just £200, our Loop at Work table packages including everything required to introduce table tennis into the work environment.

The table packages, which are subsidised using funding from Sport England, are a cost effective way for employers to enhance the employee benefits packages as opposed to more costly enhancements such as gym membership or private health insurance.

To get your workplace #INTHELOOP or to find out more, please contact us

Get Active for Mental Wellbeing

Everyone knows that regular exercise is good for physical health, but it’s also one of the most effective ways to improve your mental health.

Getting active can have a positive impact on depression, anxiety and more. It can relieve stress, improve memory, help you sleep better and make you feel more relaxed and positive about yourself and your life.  The good news is, this isn’t dependent on hard exercise, even 10 minutes of moderate activity can make a difference.

 

Why Table Tennis?

Table tennis in particular is a fantastic pathway for getting active and lifting the spirits.  It can be played by anyone, of any age and with any physical limitations.  It’s sociable and simply everyone, even those who have never played before, can pick up a bat and have an enjoyable experience.  Not only that, it’s been proven that learning this new skill (or remembering a long forgotten one) can have a positive impact on those with memory loss problems and dementia. This could be due to an increase in the thickness of their cortex – the part of the brain associated with complex thinking and the part which shrinks most as we age *Stay young – with help from table tennis!

Click to enlarge

 

 

 

Case study: Live at Home Leeds

South Leeds Live at Home tackles isolation and promotes independence and wellbeing, by tailoring its activities to suit its members. They’ve recently been running some ‘Bat and Chat’ table tennis sessions.  Nicki from the scheme told us:

Mr S is a member here at our scheme who has lost his wife and found himself quite lonely. He has starting visiting the scheme more frequently and has also got involved in a few of our other projects too. He has come to every Bat and Chat session we have had and thoroughly enjoyed it every week. It has brought back many memories of when he was in his 20’s as he used to play Table Tennis every day on his dinner break at work.

Although he hadn’t played in so long he was surprised how quickly he got the hang of it and for the first few weeks he was undefeated. After a few weeks another member managed to beat him with a score of 15-13 which was a great laugh to watch. He is always the first person here and really looks forward to it each week. He has no family that live close by but has really found it good to socialise with new people and have the same interest to talk about. Mr S visits his sister every week as she is in a care home a few hours’ drive away.

Previously we had got the impression that she wasn’t doing too well. On our first Bat and Chat session we had another member come along which happened to work with Mr S sister and her husband in a Factory many years ago. They also played Table Tennis on their lunch break which was great news for Mr S to talk about on his visits to see his sister. He told us that he stayed a lot longer than normal on his visit as they had so much to talk about. He has also told his sister that he is no longer the undefeated champion so it seems to have lifted not only his spirits but also his sisters.  Last week he had found some of his old bats and balls too which he has kindly brought in for anyone to use.

Overall I think the Bat and Chat has really benefited Mr S and he will carry on coming to every session. He’s keen to get involved and also keeps track of the score for me if I need him to.

 

 

For more information about Bat and Chat, please email us

Building bridges with table tennis

From improving mental well-being to tackling social isolation, table tennis is the perfect tool to provide an inclusive activity within your community. We spoke to Baildon Methodist Church, who used table tennis to engage with their local community with great success.

It was a member of the congregation who first suggested table tennis as an activity for the church, not just to increase income, but to engage with the further community in the parish of Shipley, Bradford. The sessions began as two hour sessions once a week, and word quickly spread.  The sessions attracted a wide range of abilities and ages, ranging from 12 to 87. Within a year, an additional session was established to cope with the demand and a community was born.

Jane, who holds duty within the church, told us of their successes:

Firm friendships have been formed spilling out into table tennis elsewhere and on numerous occasions, small groups who met through our table tennis sessions going off on holiday together.

 

The community in Shipley have engaged with the church, despite many members being of other faiths, and those of no faith. The sessions have provided a safe space for individuals to seek support, meet new people, and get active whilst having fun.

 

We have helped individuals who have had difficulties which we have supported them through. The great advantage of table tennis is that all ages can play, we have seen older people attend and in several months we have noticed an improvement in balance, agility, alertness, outlook and general fitness. We provide companionship and loads of fun for those who live alone.

 

Jane stresses that the sessions at the church are very much a team effort of church members, other faiths and non-believers, who have actively got involved in their community.

 

Some of our other faiths and non-believers have attended other church activities. Additionally, the table tennis money and knock on to other events/activities helps us pay the bills and provide charitable support elsewhere. Apart from the financial benefits to the Church we have also been able to offer Christian fellowship to individuals who have faced a difficult situation in their lives or just simply needed companionship. This Christian support was only possible because of table tennis as it brought other faiths and non-believers into our church. 

 

As Jane has experienced, table tennis can be a great tool for improving mental wellbeing, and providing a space for people to connect and share. Just 10 minutes of physical activity has been proven to increase mental alertness, positive mood and energy, reducing symptoms of stress and anxiety.

Table tennis has the unique benefits of being a fully inclusive activity, regardless of your age, background, abilities or disabilities. But most importantly, it’s a fun way to get active without needing a change of clothes, specialist equipment or any history of playing; just grab a bat and have a go!

Here’s how table tennis can improve your mental well-being (click image below to expand) ….

 

 

Loop in the Community is a subsidised table grant scheme programme, available to community groups, community venues and more.

Find out more about Loop in the Community 

Or contact us