The Arcelormittal Orbit slide

Office workers test impact of adrenaline rush on wellbeing and productivity

9 October 2018

Tuesday 9th October 2018, Stratford:

Staff working at International Quarter London (IQL) will today start their day with a ride on the world's longest and tallest tunnel slide - the ArcelorMittal Orbit London as part of a unique experiment to show how a rush of adrenaline improves wellbeing and productivity at work.

150 people from IQL tenants TFL, Unicef and future tenants Cancer Research UK and British Council will be swapping their coffee for adrenaline as they take a slide from 7.30am down the iconic ArcelorMittal Orbit London in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, before heading to their workplaces. The 178 metre slide snakes around UK's tallest sculpture and lasts a hair-raising 40 seconds as it goes through 12 twists and turns. IQL, London's £2.4 billion joint venture development between Lendlease and LCR in the heart of Stratford, sits at the gateway to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and its wealth of world-class sporting, health and leisure facilities.

Participants in the study, which is being conducted by the University of Essex, will complete a questionnaire before and after they ride the slide to see how the rush of adrenaline affects factors such as wellbeing, motivation, creativity and productivity. They will repeat the survey throughout the day to see how long the effects of the slide last.

Andrew Tobin, Project Director at IQL, said: "There is a considerable body of evidence from academic research that physical activity helps reduce stress and improve wellbeing. We want our unique study to add to this, showing that keeping active and boosting heart rates is good for us as individuals and good for the economy. We're not saying ride the slide every day, more that giving staff easy access to the sporting and leisure facilities of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park can only impact positively on a company's productivity, its staff retention and ultimately its bottom line. Stratford's mix of cultural, sporting and leisure facilities do not exist to the same extent anywhere else in London, and so give it broad appeal as a place to work and live."

Within Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park are two 50m swimming pools, a 25m diving pool, a 50 station gym and crèche at the London Aquatics Centre; track cycling and five miles of mountain bike and BMX trails at the Lee Valley VeloPark; four indoor and six outdoor tennis courts and two hockey pitches at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre; plus running trails and cycle paths spanning the 560 acres of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Dr. Valerie Gladwell, Senior Lecturer at the University of Essex School of Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Science, who is leading the study said: "IQL is such a vibrant, diverse, open and spacious environment with an outstanding range of sporting and leisure facilities on its doorstep. This makes it easy for people to get active and everyone benefits from a local population that is fitter, more refreshed and full of energy."

IQL has been a flourishing community for over a year since TfL became its first tenant in September 2017. Since then the Financial Conduct Authority and Unicef have also chosen Stratford for their new headquarters and they will soon be joined by Cancer Research UK and the British Council once the third commercial building is complete next year. Once complete, IQL will have around 25,000 people working here plus over 800 new homes, subject to planning.