About the Project

  • As part of the Workplace Challenge programme, Essex County Council (ECC) staff identified a need for a fitness class-type activity for females.
  • Utilising the unused space of the ECC squash courts, located within the council building, Active Essex worked with RunFit Essex to start lunchtime female body-conditioning sessions.
  • Sessions take place every Thursday lunchtime and last 40 minutes.
  • Due to demand, we now run two sessions back-to-back each week.
  • The group started as an 8-week free programme and continued thereafter as ongoing paid sessions.


  • There was an average of 24 participants per session.
  • 100% felt re-energised when returning to work.
  • 81% reported their confidence was boosted.
  • 91% reported their physical fitness improved.
  • 100% felt de-stressed following the session.
  • 72% made new friends.

91% felt increased productivity when returning to work.

Participants were asked to rate their level of fitness before and after the 8-week programme. Participants were asked the following question: ‘On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your level of physical fitness (1 being very unfit and 10 being very fit)?

Before the programme, participants gave an average score of 5. After the 8-week programme, participants gave an average score of 7.

The greatest increase in self-reported fitness levels was from a lady who scored 0 at the start of the programme and 6 at the end of the 8-week programme.

“There was no judgement on level of fitness, the class was for all abilities. Due to commitments I am unable to do classes after work, so the opportunity to do it during the day is amazing.” Victoria (participant)

“The best thing was getting a break from the office. The sessions helped improve energy and productivity.” Katie (participant)

“It was great learning new exercises so I could use them during the week as well. Doing it with lots of my work team was fun.” Nicola (participant)

“Great to break up the working day with something to work the body.” Theresa (participant)

“The best thing about taking part was getting together with colleagues and doing something fun together.” Kellene (participant)

For more info on Workplace Challenge, contact hayley.chapman@activeessex.org.