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Exercise Hour

What is Exercise Hour?

It is an hour that Trinity staff can use to exercise during work. Exercise Hour has been offered since 2011 to all Trinity staff during Health and Sports Week.

Why have an Exercise Hour?

Physically active staff are more productive and less likely to be absent due to illness. Physical activity is proven to help manage stress, improve morale and reduce tiredness*. One of the main reasons people don't exercise is lack of time. Exercise Hour helps people overcome that barrier.

How Do I Avail of it?

  • Speak to your Head of School/Administrative/Support Area. Although they are not obliged to give you Exercise Hour, they are encouraged to work with you to participate in it as part of Health and Sports Week. 
  • Arrange your exercise time in advance to make certain all work responsibilities are covered.

All staff are encouraged to support this programme and promote an attitude of wellness on campus.  We realise some departments may have a more difficult time accommodating all staff members who want to utilise the programme.  We encourage efforts to think creatively in this regard. (For example, staff may stagger shifts in order to take time to exercise and still provide cover for work.)

What are the stipulations for taking Exercise Hour?

Exercise Hour can be taken only if it incurs no additional cost to College.  It may be taken before or during work but may not be taken at the end of the day to shorten the working day.  Staff do not have to work back the hour taken for Exercise Hour.  If taken during Health and Sports Week, staff should inform their line managers of the exercise they will be doing as part of the programme.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Seriously, I can take an hour off to exercise?

Yes, as long as your manager approves it. As a participant in exercise hour you can take an hour off before or during the working day. You can't however, take it at the end of the day to shorten your working day. Taking the hour to exercise must not incur any extra cost to College.

2. Do I have to work back up the hour?

No. Treat it as if you were at work.

3. How does taking Exercise Hour affect my flexi-time?

It is the same as if you were doing your normal work.

4. I'm really busy. Where am I supposed to get time to exercise?

Lack of time is cited as one of the main reasons people don't exercise. We realise it is difficult to rearrange your work to take Exercise Hour but being physically active can improve your productivity, energy levels and mood.

5. How do you know someone is actually exercising during Exercise Hour?

If taken during Health and Sports Week, staff should inform their line managers of the exercise they will be doing.  

Note for Heads of School/Administrative/Support Areas

You are encouraged to work with staff members who want to participate in the programme.  Staff will need to arrange their exercise time in advance to make certain all work responsibilities are covered.  Exercise Hour is an initiative for Health and Sports Week and can be taken only if it incurs no additional cost to the college.  It may be taken before or during work but may not be taken at the end of the day to shorten the working day.  Staff do not have to work back the hour taken for Exercise Hour.  Staff should inform their line managers of the exercise they will be doing as part of the programme. 

All staff are encouraged to support this programme and promote an attitude of wellness on campus.  We realise some departments may have a more difficult time accommodating all staff members who want to utilise the programme.  We encourage efforts to think creatively in this regard. (For example, staff may stagger lunch shifts in order to take time to exercise and still provide coverage for the office.) 

Examples of Other Exercise Hours

Truman State University, USA

UMEA University, Sweden

Lund University, Sweden

Exercise Hours are also taken in companies throughout Ireland as part of health initiatives.

Exercise Hour and the Unions

As part of the Exercise Hour initiative for Health and Sports week, the College Health Service and Department of Sport and Recreation have worked in collaboration with unions in College. For any queries related to previous communications with the Unions please email Martina on health.promotion@tcd.ie

References

*NICE (2008) Promoting physical activity in the workplace. Business case. Implementing NICE guidance in England.


Last updated 18 May 2018 Web Design Queries (Email).