The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (Nice) has published a set of guidelines to encourage staff to get more active.

The organisation believes that currently, between 65 per cent of men and 76 per cent of women do not get enough physical exercise and, with employees spending up to 60 per cent of their waking hours at work, the new initiative is aimed at tackling these figures.

It is encouraging employers to develop activity plans for their workforce, including promoting cycling and walking to and from work.

Professor Peter Littlejohns, clinical and public health director at Nice, said: "A healthy workforce can result in financial benefits for employers, including increased productivity and less sickness absence as well as greater staff retention."

Nice is an independent organisation that promotes good health and the prevention of illness. It produces a regular newsletter giving information on health issues to both employers and employees alike.