France

breaking news (Sport at) work is health

breaking news

Ten thousand steps and more. Go back to the office more often, to work, to chat (without a screen interposed) with colleagues, but also… to do more physical activity? While the health crisis and confinements have resulted in many people gaining weight of a few kilos, an increase in sedentary time and a drop in the level of physical activity, the gradual reduction in the share of teleworking – from June 9 – could well be a lever to help the French move more and thus score some points for their health capital.

This is first of all the case for those who, for home-work journeys, use active means of transport. At the national level, however, they are very much in the minority, according to the latest census data from INSEE. At the start of 2020, nearly three quarters (72.8%) of people in professional activity still go to work by car, this mode of transport being by far the most used, even for journeys of less than one kilometer. Only 6.4% walk to their place of work, and 2.9% get on a bicycle. The share of business trips by bicycle is however increasing (+ 0.9 points since 2015). Above all, it is much higher in cities, reaching 17% in municipalities such as Strasbourg and Grenoble, according to INSEE. And the trend has probably increased since the pandemic.

All employees concerned

Beyond active mobility, another factor will perhaps give an impetus to the physical activity of employees: managers will be financially encouraged to facilitate sport in the workplace. Long requested by the actors of the sector, a decree published in Official newspaper May 30 provides for exemption from social contributions and contributions “The advantage represented by the provision by the employer of equipment for collective use dedicated to the performance of physical and sports activities such as a gym belonging to the company or a space managed by it or of which it pays for the rental for the purpose of practicing physical and sporting activity ”. Ditto for “Provision of physical and sporting activities such as group lessons of physical and sporting activities or events or competitions of a sporting nature”. In practice, for the latter, the annual limit of the exemption from charges is “5% of the monthly value of the Social Security ceiling multiplied by the workforce of the company”, i.e. 171.40 euros per employee and per year. The decree specifies that the services are offered to all employees of the company “Whatever the nature and duration of their employment contract”.

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