UK government’s chief people officer backs CSSC’s Active Wellbeing campaign

Civil servants share their tips to get active with one week to go till launch
Chief people officer Fiona Ryland

CSSC’s Active Wellbeing campaign is gathering support from across the civil service, with the UK Government's chief people officer, Fiona Ryland, adding her voice to a host of civil servants backing the campaign, urging colleagues to sign up before the closing date of 31 January. Active Wellbeing encourages colleagues to support each other in getting more active in their free time to improve mental and physical health.

Fiona Ryland, the Government’s Chief People Officer, said: “The positive impacts of physical activity for overall wellbeing can no longer be argued. There’s a wealth of evidence to support the fact that the more active you are, the happier and healthier you become. That doesn’t mean you need to run a marathon tomorrow either. Small, incremental changes to your activity levels can have a massively beneficial effect in a short period of time.

“That’s what this campaign is all about, committing to making those changes now, and reaping the benefits for the rest of the year. That’s why we’re encouraging as many of our colleagues as are able to sign up to Active Wellbeing 2023.”

This year, participants can sign up for the Around-the-World 28-day challenge where they will virtually travel around the globe through six continents, 70 countries and over 90,000 kilometres in teams. Anyone can set up or join a team and take on others from across the country. Or simply see how far they can travel in 28 days.

The campaign attracted 7,000 participants in 2022, and they’ve been sharing their positive experiences with CSSC ever since:

HM Revenue and Customs staff took part in last year’s campaign: “I was looking for something I could do before work to get me going. I pledged to do a before-work exercise or mindfulness activity every workday with Active Wellbeing 2022. It got my ball rolling and, in doing so, I discovered the classes available on my CSSC account to keep me motivated. I plan to keep up these activities, as I am feeling physically and mentally improved.”

Participants from The Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science found the simplicity of the campaign helped inspire them to get active: “Since the start of the pandemic I, like a lot of people, had found it challenging to keep an active lifestyle. I was becoming more aware of the toll this was having on both my physical and mental health and knew I needed to make a change, and that’s when the Active Wellbeing campaign came along.

“I signed up and made a simple pledge to commit to a workout routine so I couldn’t make excuses. I quickly saw the difference it made to me both physically and mentally. I’m excited to continue this journey and would encourage everyone to add just a little more activity into their days.”

HM Revenue and Customs colleagues, found the campaign was a great way to help reach new year goals: “I saw Active Wellbeing in the CSSC newsletter and thought it seemed like a good way to make me actually fulfil my new year’s resolution of being more active! During January I started going on long walks when I have the time and even signed up to a 10k the following August.”

A colleague from The UK Statistics Authority - Department of Health and Social Care found the incentives fully financed by CSSC helped maintain activity levels throughout the year: “Pledging to be more active through the Active Wellbeing 2022 program was part of a suite of lifestyle changes I made over a few months in an effort to be more fit and healthy. It’s a great initiative to help keep people accountable in their goals while also providing a fun incentive. I am delighted to have won one of the pledge prizes which helped keep me active not just in the coming year, but beyond.”

Colleagues from the  Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport have been participating for a number of years:  “As a member of the Civil Service, I have been participating in the Active Wellbeing Challenge for a number of years, and I find it a really good opportunity to join forces with my work team and encourage each other. For 2022 I pledged to start running again, so I pledged to follow an exercise programme and started my C25K again, motivated by Sarah Millican.  I can also say that I have continued with my pledge and can now run 5K without keeling over!”

Every step taken, sport played or activity done will count towards team totals, even making a cup of tea! Participants can sync a smart device to record and log each activity or manually add it throughout the day by logging into the website. There are a whole host of incentives to get involved, fully funded by CSSC, including smart fitness tech, sports kits, vouchers and workplace activity funds. Better still, everyone who signed up is guaranteed a reward.

CSSC is here to support your active wellbeing journey, with lots of tools and resources to suit your individual needs. From step-by-step guides, expert advice, and new ideas to get you around the world, you can find a full list of resources available on the CSSC website.

CSSC is an exclusive not-for-profit membership organisation inspiring over 140,000 civil servants and public sector workers from across the UK to explore new ways to be active and healthy through - everyday savings, offers to get active and amazing days out. For more about CSSC and how to join, visit the Active Wellbeing website.



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