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ukactive calls for a radical rethink of health and fitness in SMEs

July 27, 2022

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ukactive has called for a radical rethink of how we engage in health and physical activity in the workplace. SMEs make up 99.9% of UK businesses, and most don’t have access to workplace physical activity centres or solutions that large corporate-based organisations enjoy.

The organisation has recommended that the Cycle to Work scheme be expanded to cover gym memberships and equipment to accommodate people who work from home. The report, released last month, examines a study conducted by the ukactive Research Institute in collaboration with the Federation for Small Businesses (FSB).

The Active Workforce report revealed the following:

  • 4% of SMEs surveyed do not yet provide opportunities for employees to be active during working hours, and nearly one-third (32.4%) do not feel their organisation has the support it needs to do this
  • The most popular physical activity opportunities among SMEs include the Cycle to Work scheme (39.7%) and physical activity challenges and competitions (22.1%)
  • Measures offered by fewer businesses are those that involve more cost, such as providing access to private leisure facilities through membership (7.4%) or providing fitness equipment for employees (10.3%)
  • Increased home and hybrid working are seen as barriers to physical activity


The study focussed on the state of physical activity and the recommendations that could be made to improve the area where more than 90% of UK businesses sit. This comes after a recent Bupa study showing that a fifth of people who are now working from home do less exercise than they did pre-pandemic.

To find out more from The Active Workforce report, see here.

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