City of London workers probed on post-Covid leisure and travel

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Employees in the City of London are being asked to help shape future provision of leisure and active travel in the Square Mile post-Covid.

Outdoor gyms or fitness classes and improved facilities for cycling and walking could be on the agenda when the Square Mile recovers from the pandemic, according to the City of London Corporation. 

It has joined forces with not-for-profit leisure industry body ukactive to ask people who usually work in the City to take part in a survey on how coronavirus has affected their leisure and travel needs and what provision they’d like to see in the future. 

The City Corporation is responsible for promoting good health among City workers and residents, owns the Golden Lane Leisure Centre and runs or funds other services to promote physical and mental wellbeing.

A recent report by Sport England found for every £1 spent on community sport and physical activity in England, an economic and social return on investment of £3.91 is generated.

Lord Mayor William Russell said: “Coronavirus has heralded an unprecedented shift in how City employees work and how they get their exercise, and we can’t assume that once the pandemic is over, things will simply return to normal. 

“Ensuring workers are fit and healthy is an integral part of post-Covid recovery and it’s clear that investment in people’s health and wellbeing more than pays for itself in the long-run. 

“I’d encourage City workers to take five minutes to complete our survey and ensure provision for people to get active or to cycle or walk to work meets their needs in a post-Covid world.” 

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The survey asks workers how they usually get to work and exercise, how that’s changed due to the pandemic and whether activities such as access to lunchtime fitness activities or more flexible working would benefit them. 

The results will shape what leisure and active travel provision the City Corporation provides directly or in partnership with businesses in the Square Mile in future. 

Chair of ukactive, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, said: “It is critical that we take the time to reflect on the opportunities to learn from this pandemic. With so many people displaced from their usual place of work, we have a chance to look at the positive and negative impacts on our ability to build physical activity into the working day.  

“We must adapt future working and urban environments to reflect a greater focus on health and wellbeing, using physical activity to enrich our working lives and improve productivity. This survey will help us to learn more about what workers want from their environments in the long-term and enable us to boost the wellbeing of our communities and workforces through active environments.”

The survey can be completed online here.

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