Decathlon calls for ‘movement breaks’ at work & partners with mental health charity RED - how to get involved

Decathlon has introduced ‘movement breaks’ to the working day for all of its UK staff to help improve their physical and mental health.

Decathlon has introduced ‘movement breaks’ for all employees across the UK to improve mental wellbeing during the difficult month of January and has called on other businesses to do the same.

Decathlon, the world’s largest sports retailer, has introduced the workplace initiative following new research that reveals 61% of working Brits believe that having time in their day to move would significantly improve their mood and performance at work. Despite the positive effects, just 14% say they regularly find the time to move at work, with a third revealing they rarely or are never able to.

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The scheme will take place throughout the month of January. The decision comes after research shows 39% of people say they are more likely to struggle with mental health in January. This rises to more than half of those aged 18 to 34 years.

All 1,655 teammates based in the UK, from store colleagues to head office workers, are being encouraged to take ‘movement breaks’ every working day. During this time, they are encouraged to get moving whether that be with a brisk outdoor walk, yoga stretches or low impact bodyweight exercises as examples.

Decathlon UK’s Head of CSR, Delphine Mazillier, spoke about the initiative and challenged other businesses to do the same in a statement that read: “We understand that exercising either side of the working day can be an inconvenience, with the lack of daylight in the winter months seriously affecting peoples’ ability to safely exercise outdoors.

“The solution is simple, get moving while at work. We hope that by encouraging teammates to take 30 minutes out of their working day to ‘move for their mind’, it will benefit both their health and mental wellbeing. We challenge other businesses to join us in helping employees to get moving for a more positive mind.”

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The employee scheme coincides with the retailer’s partnership with RED January, a nationwide campaign that empowers people to move every day for their mental wellbeing. Research shows that over half of people who move regularly experience less stress and reduced signs of depressive symptoms.

Decathlon has also released official RED January merchandise for 2023, with 100% of the profits from these merchandise sales going to Sport in Mind, the UK’s mental health charity that uses sport and physical activity to improve the lives of people experiencing mental health challenges.

Hannah Beecham MBE, Founder of RED January, spoke about the collaboration saying: “Year-on-year, hundreds of workplaces join RED January as a team to help bring everyone together with a common goal and support employees wellbeing at a time of year that can be challenging for many. We’re proud to be in partnership with Decathlon UK, to help reach and empower more workplaces to move for their mental wellbeing this winter.”

How you can get involved

Decathlon is encouraging everyone to kickstart their 2023 right by signing up to Red January and joining thousands of people across the UK in moving everyday to beat the winter blues and support all those experiencing mental health challenges.

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Whether you run, swim, cycle or just go for a walk around the block, any form of movement, and sale of Decathlon’s Red January merchandise, this January will go a long way towards improving mental health and physical activity for 2023.

Link to purchase the Decathlon’s RED January merchandise can be found on their website, with the retailer selling a Red January Snood, Red January Adult T-shirt and Red January Kids T-shirt to help support the initiative.

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