Workplace Active Certification: The creation of a certification process that values and rewards professional organisations implementing physical activity for their employees

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Background and Objectives:
The workplace is often highlighted as a potential location to promote physical activity and healthy lifestyles. Yet debates still exist concerning the appropriateness of ostensibly ‘leisure’ activities within traditional spaces of work. Moreover, little consensus exists concerning good practice, whilst workplace structures, cultures, interpersonal relationships, personal motivations and local/national policy architecture influence programme effectiveness. The ‘Workplace Active Certification’ project (WAC-project) was designed to develop an evidence-based certification process through which to certify workplaces as active.

In order to achieve this aim, the programme integrated several types of evidence obtained from several sources. These included a scoping review of literature, multi-stage interviews conducted online by partners with ‘pioneer’ employers (28) across multiple (7) European countries, and iterative consultations with cross-sectorial health and physical activity promotion experts (44). The full certification/audit process was conducted with 16 pioneer companies. The project comprised 10 cross-sectorial partners who supported this process.

All this shared information has lead to an introductory questionnaire as well as an comprehensive list of 40 WAC criteria that should be fulfilled by any organisation wishing to develop their "Active Workplace" approach and getting "WAC certified". Criteria are divided into 5 categories:
- Needs identification,
- Leadership,
- Planned actions,
- Work environment,
- Evaluation.
In total 13 companies have been awarded the WAC certificate.

A certification system that is multi-level, can be contextualised, is targeted, action based and orientated on impact and sustainability can help workplaces in creating an more HEPA friendly workplace.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Public Health
Issue numberSuppl. 1
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2023
EventHEPA Europe 12th Conference : Implementing Health-Enhancing Physical Activity Research: From Science to policy and practice - Leuven, Belgium
Duration: 11 Sep 202313 Sep 2023


ConferenceHEPA Europe 12th Conference
Internet address

ID: 378326933