Know Your Numbers Week is a campaign that takes place each September and is promoted by Blood Pressure UK. This year, Know Your Numbers Week is taking place from 5-11 September 2022.

Know Your Numbers Week is a great opportunity to engage your staff with wellbeing, helping them understand the importance of stats like blood pressure, cholesterol and blood glucose. When these scores reach unhealthy levels, they can lead to serious cardiovascular disease, which is often symptomless until something serious happens – like a stroke or heart attack.

In this post, we’re going to cover different ways to engage your staff with a Know Your Numbers campaign in the workplace.

1) Get Everyone Moving Around

Aside from diet, one of the biggest factors that impacts your health is physical activity – specifically, a lack of it.

According to the NHS, adults should get a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week. Essentially, moderate intensity means that your heart should be beating faster and your breathing should be deeper and faster, too. A good measure of this is that you should be able to hold a conversation but not sing a song. Something like a brisk walk or bike ride usually hits this mark.

Obviously, not everyone will want to get their running shoes on and head to the park, but there are other ways to encourage people to get more physical activity into their day. An effective idea that almost everyone could join in on is a walk to work campaign. Whilst many people would still need to drive, you can encourage them to park further away and walk the last bit in, even allowing them to arrive 5 or 10 minutes late to accommodate.

Similarly, if your workplace has more than one floor, you could move some of the amenities (tea, coffee, snacks etc.) to a different floor. Not only will staff be walking, but they’ll also have to use the stairs, which is another great way to sneak some activity into your daily life.

2) Get Competitive

Remember when pedometers were the cutting edge of fitness technology? Now they seem to be an afterthought tacked on to anything you can have on your person that’s got a battery – watches, phones, tablets etc.

That’s good news because it means most people will already have one (if not, a retro pedometer will set you back pounds – if not pence).

The idea here is simple – grab a whiteboard, flipchart, or even a spreadsheet, and track everyone’s steps for a week. Hand out prizes for winners, whether it’s daily or at the end of the week. For smaller prizes, you could dish out healthy snacks or maybe some extra break time. For the overall winner, maybe you could even offer them a lie-in, allowing them to come in later – or a whole day off, if you’re feeling generous!

The great thing about this campaign is that it’s easily accessible for most staff, takes little relative effort in terms of fitness and costs nothing (or very little, depending on how generous the prizes are).

3) Switch to Healthy Food for a Week

Diet has a massive impact on our cardiovascular health, with weight and intake of certain foods (such as salt) directly correlating to our risk of developing certain conditions.

Obviously you can’t force someone to eat healthily, but there are a few different ways to encourage your staff to swap the bad foods for the good.

If you have a workplace canteen, asking your kitchen staff to offer some exciting and healthy foods for a week, in place or one or two unhealthy options, is an easy way to add some variety to lunchtime. You could even ask staff their opinions after the week has ended, which may make way for some popular dishes to come back.

If your staff bring their own lunch to work, you could instead switch to potluck lunches for a week (or just a day, perhaps). This is where everyone involved plans a dish or two to bring in advance, essentially ending with a buffet that everyone has contributed to. This is a great way to get people excited and interested in healthy food for the week, and also offers staff a bit of control over what they’ll be able to eat. And for anyone who doesn’t want to take part, they don’t have to – but the buzz of a buffet always attracts interest!

4) Organise a Staff Health Check

Organising fun wellbeing activities is always great for staff morale and engagement, but they don’t necessarily lead to actionable data and fundamental change.

When it comes to blood pressure, cholesterol and blood glucose, understanding what these terms are, what they mean for your health and, most importantly, whether you are at risk is absolutely crucial. High blood pressure and high cholesterol often have no symptoms until something serious happens (like a heart attack or stroke), and type-2 diabetes doesn’t usually present with symptoms initially.

1 in 4 adults in the UK have high blood pressure, and up to a quarter of those don’t actually know that they have it because they’ve never been tested – that’s about 10% of the population.

You can encourage anyone between the ages of 40 and 70 to head to their doctor for an NHS health check, however, these can be hard to book currently, given the massive pressure that the NHS is under.

Another option is to organise an on-site health check for your staff, where practitioners attend your site to test staff blood pressure, as well as other stats such as weight, body fat and metabolic age. Similarly, you could also organise health screens for staff, where cholesterol and blood glucose scores can be tested in just a few minutes, allowing staff to head to their GP if they need further assessment.

New Leaf Health offers staff testing UK-wide, so if you’d like to chat to us about your requirements, please don’t hesitate to drop us an email:

5) Rally your Champions

Wellbeing Champions are a strong tool when it comes to promoting workplace health and wellbeing. In addition to getting them involved in any of the initiatives listed in this article, you could also get them to spearhead a good old fashioned poster campaign. This could be focused on encouraging staff to book an NHS health check, or simply sharing important facts and figures with them. In fact, if your Champions are interested in some handy information on this topic, we’ve got a free physical health guide that you can download by filling out the form below – you’re welcome!

Champions can also share their favourite healthy recipes, organise workplace fitness groups, and even put together some cases studies and interviews with staff members on the importance of physical health – perhaps one of your staff members has been affected by one of the conditions mentioned in this post and would be keen to share their experiences with others.

Whether you’re going for a full week of health checks, a lunchtime potluck, or just getting your staff chatting about physical health, don’t miss out on Know Your Numbers Week 2022 – it could help to save a life.