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Case Study: norfolk business link physical activity project

business link norfolk is working with 12 rural businesses in norfolk between march 2005 and march 2007 to implement a range of physical activity interventions.

location & issues

norfolk county

  • growth of sedentary lifestyles, rising obesity amongst adult population, recognised health benefits associated with being physically active, recognition of workplace as a potential setting to deliver health promotion
  • approx 32% adult population “physically active”
  • differs with gender, age, weight, ethnicity, social class, disability, educational attainment
  • walking and cycling have declined, use of the car has increased. - national travel survey for GB (2001)

main partners

  • nationally – sport england, dept of health, british heart foundation, dept trade & industry, loughborough university
  • regionally – sport england, norfolk business link, creating excellence, 12 businesses, project steering group including 5-a-day regional co-ordinator, sustrans, norfolk county council, primary care trusts, regional public health team

project description

  • for business link norfolk to work with 12 rural businesses in norfolk between march 2005 and march 2007 to implement a range of physical activity interventions from the following:
    - to and from the workplace – active travel
    - during the working day – lunch time/afterwork provision
    - through the workplace – opportunities for staff to be active outside of work
  • for each business to develop a healthy lifestyle policy for its workforce
  • for each business to use the workplace to raise awareness of the benefits of being regularly active
  • to assess the effectiveness of the interventions, policy and awareness raising programme against levels of physical activity, individual perceptions of well being, absenteeism and staff turnover
  • to use the workplace as a setting to promote smoking cessation, improvements in dietary habits, and raise awareness on sensible alcohol consumption
  • to develop the capacity of norfolk business link advisors and the 12 businesses to sustain these areas of work within their organisations

project outcomes


  • partners signed up
  • business engaged
  • champions of workplaces identified
  • funding secured
  • training of business link advisors undertaken
  • detailed delivery plan “signed off”

next steps

  • training for workplace champions
  • baseline assessments undertaken
  • needs assessments of workforce undertaken
  • individual business action plans agreed
  • planning and implementation of interventions

further details

project manager: adam rigarlsford, sport england east,
telephone: 01234 333611