WORKFORCE: Staff at Calderdale and Huddersfield FT are taking part in netball, swimming and other sports as part of efforts to promote healthy lifestyles and reduce stress, reveals the trust’s first annual staff health and wellbeing report.

Staff have access to dedicated swimming sessions at a local pool funded by the staff lottery, and can take part in a new annual netball tournament as well as a yearly football contest, says the report.

“A recent pilot for pilates and zumba exercise classes proved popular with staff and will continue during 2012,” it adds.

Other efforts to improve staff welfare include a new mediation service to deal with workplace relationship problems, which is “showing positive results”.

The report shows nearly two thirds - 63.6 per cent - of staff were off sick at some point during the year from April 2011 to March 2012.

Seven per cent of those were off sick with stress or anxiety with nearly 16,000 working days lost. Twelve per cent suffered musculoskeletal problems like back pain with about 13,600 working days lost.