14 March 2018
Hale-based physiotherapy practice Altius Healthcare has secured a deal to provide its Sit Strong corporate wellness programme to all Bruntwood customers.
The deal means Altius, which is headed up by former England Rugby and Sale Sharks physiotherapist Doug Jones, will deliver a weekly programme of physiotherapy services, strengthening and conditioning classes, and wellbeing therapies to firms located across the Bruntwood portfolio.
The initiative will launch in three of Bruntwood’s flagship buildings – Trafford House, Booths Park in Knutsford, and Neo in Manchester city centre.
Jones, who was head physio at Sale Sharks and London Wasps, left his career with England Rugby in 2014 after discovering he had a brain tumour. Following successful treatment for a benign tumour, he went on to set up Altius Healthcare alongside his wife and fellow physiotherapist Anna, applying lessons learnt from 17 years in elite sport to treat people from all walks of life. In its first year of business, Altius won contracts to treat athletes from Team GB Tae Kwon Do and Red Bull UK and Trek Factory Racing and grew its private practice to sustain 12 physiotherapists and health practitioners.
Bruntwood Sales Director Andrew Butterworth said: “Our focus has always been to create places where companies can succeed and prosper. We aim to put the health and wellbeing of all our customers at the heart of what we do and partnering with Altius to offer a programme specifically designed for office-based businesses fits that philosophy extremely well.”
The Bruntwood deal is the latest in a string of contracts won by Altius to deliver its Sit Strong programme to employees at Northwest firms. Altius already delivers the programme to companies including Stockport-based Ossur , which develops prosthetics, blades and braces for athletes, and Manchester digital agency Code Computerlove.
Sit Strong was developed by Jones and his team using elite sports science techniques to help employers cut health problems associated with prolonged sitting and improve the physical health and wellbeing of desk-based workers.
“In sport, we focus on preventing injury by identifying risk factors and using treatments that address physical weakness,” explains Jones.
“The same philosophy is completely relevant in the corporate world where desk-based working practices are storing up major physical and mental health problems for employees.”
Sit Strong is rooted in the elite sports medicine model and uses pilates and yoga principles to undo the harmful effects of prolonged sitting, improve strength and flexibility, prevent injury, balance energy, and boost mental wellbeing and performance.
The programme incorporates abdominal strengthening and spinal mobilisation, chair massage, body conditioning and fitness classes with pop-up clinics and advice sessions.
“When you sit in a chair for long periods joints can become tight, muscles weaken, and tension gathers around the spine leading to stiffness, back and joint pain and weight gain, as well as low energy and stress,” explains Jones, who believes there is a clear business case for promoting physical health and wellbeing among office-based staff.
“Evidence shows that wellness initiatives reduce absence and increase productivity at work. With rising levels of absenteeism due to back pain and growing rates of hip and spinal surgery, this is an area of health that can have a major impact on business.
“Sit Strong is about empowering people to manage their health rather than waiting to feel pain. Our approach is fundamentally preventative and designed to awaken the body’s muscular system, making people feel strong and energised at work.”