WITH ABOUT a week to go before the start of the Rio Paralympic Games 2016, workers across Worcestershire are being encouraged to get into the spirit of the event and sign up for a sporting challenge with a difference.

Shake Up September is a national activity run by Workplace Challenge, which aims to inspire employees to try out as many Olympic and Paralympic sports as possible throughout the month.

According to Public Health England, workers spend about 60 per cent of their waking hours at work and it estimates 40 per cent of those people do not exercise enough.

In a bid to change this Workplace Challenge, which is run by the County Sports Partnership Network and managed locally by Sports Partnership Herefordshire and Worcestershire, wants to inspire businesses and encourage workers to get active in and around the working day. This is their chance to feel what it is like to be an Olympian.

Inspired by the success of Team GB, workers across the region are being urged to sign up to Workplace Challenge for free and try at least five different sports throughout Shake Up September.

The more activities they log via the Workplace Challenge website or mobile app, the more points they will earn for their workplace as they go for gold on a national challenge leaderboard.

Stephen Brewster, chief executive of Sports Partnership Herefordshire and Worcestershire, said: “Research shows not enough people are exercising and for many of us, the biggest barrier is time.

“We want to help local businesses to encourage their workers to bring physical activity into and around the working day, and Shake Up September is designed to do just that.

“With the Paralympic Games due to start on September 7, there is no better time to get involved and we’ll be showcasing different sports throughout September to get people in the spirit.

“We’re urging workers across the region to make the most of their lunch hour, take on the challenge and try out some new sports. You can even go for gold yourself because the more activities you log the higher you will get up our national leaderboard.”

Each day throughout September, Workplace Challenge will be showcasing a different Olympic or Paralympic sport on social media, demonstrating how workers can get away from the desk or leave the factory floor or in search of sport.

For more information about Shake Up September, or to register for the Workplace Challenge, please visit www.workplacechallenge.org.uk/shakeup.

There is also a Shake Up September bingo card, available to download from the Workplace Challenge website from September 1, while local companies and their staff can share their success on social media via #ShakeUp2016.