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Work Hard, Exercise Hard: The Importance of Workplace Fitness

Promoting employee health and wellness in the workplace is part of effective office management. After all, your team members spend the majority of their day on their desks.

Workplace fitness and wellness initiatives are actually an essential ingredient for high employee satisfaction. In fact, it can have a positive effect on your staff and improve their disposition in the company. Since these activities boost morale and promote a fun and engaging culture, productivity, and drive to work will increase, naturally raising business profitability.

 

Work Hard, Exercise Hard: The Importance of Workplace Fitness

What is workplace fitness? You might have an idea that it's all about holding inter-company sports events or maybe encouraging your employees to make use of the fitness equipment in the office. While these are certainly part of it, it goes beyond the physical exercise typically associated with fitness.

It's about making sure your office is well-ventilated, with proper lighting and air-conditioning. It's also about having a clean space that discourages contagious illnesses. Moreover, properly organize your office space so that no injuries and accidents happen. It's a positive approach to improving the health and well-being of an organization and its employees.

Below are some of the facts that organizations globally are experiencing when it comes to workplace fitness and employee health.

 

Facts and Figures: Workplace Fitness Stats by the Numbers

 

The recommended amount of exercise is at least 30 minutes per day. This may sound like a short time (in fact, it is just 2% of your day) but consider the amount of time your employees spend getting to work, getting home, and fulfil their other responsibilities. Provide your employees with the ability to exercise their work-life balance by making fitness activities accessible to them.

 

Studies show that there is a definite link between exercise and mood. By encouraging your team members in physical activity, they will also be able to improve their mental state steadily. Besides the science of happy hormones, it's also an excellent feeling to engage with your team members and build relationships outside a work context. 

 

  • In a survey, 74% of employees responded positively to workplace wellness programs.

Some organizations are known to shoulder health insurance benefits for their employees, which is another excellent promotion of employee health. However, it shouldn't stop there. Adopt the "prevention is better than cure" mindset and get your employees engaged in activities. These will help them stay active so that they won't get sick in the first place.

 

  • There are 131 million working days that you lose due to sickness that lead to absences and they are as follows: 34.3 million days due to minor illnesses, 28.2 million days due to musculoskeletal problems, and 14.3 million days due to stress, depression, and anxiety. (Public Health England)

The more cases of absenteeism your company have on file, the more it will take a toll on your company's productivity. These top symptoms can be curbed by encouraging your employees to lead a more active lifestyle. Work fatigue or burnout can be prevented by inserting bursts of fun engagement activities in between work.

 

Schedule and accessibility are critical factors of why people can't work out. If they don't have time for it, and if it's out of their way, the chances of them engaging in physical activities will drop. Allowing flexibility in their work hours for gym use in your office or perhaps nearby areas will motivate them more.

 

  • 50% of employees would overlook a 10% pay rise and choose a company that cared about their well-being. (M8Group)

This encouraging figure shows managers that employees appreciate workplace health initiatives planned by their company. Your people are your company's greatest asset—it's essential to take care of them!

 

Reasons Why You Should Promote Workplace Fitness

Besides the intriguing stats presented above, there are a lot more reasons to implement health and wellness programs in your organization.

  1. Early identification of illnesses – If detected early, diseases can be cured at a faster rate. Implementing employee health programs will encourage your employees to create a dialogue with doctors and tap into their other health benefits, such as checkups. This is critical not only for the company but the employee in question. Showing them that you care about their well-being will go a long way. 

  1. Promotion of healthy lifestyle – It's not enough to tell your employees to lead a healthy lifestyle—you have to show them as well. Be at the forefront of promoting exercises and maybe even give incentives to those who want to join. For the employees that want to participate, you can make a work schedule that interweaves the activities in their daily tasks and let them know that it's an integral part of work-life balance. 

  1. Employee education of Health 101 – Beyond the physical aspect of your employee fitness programs, you can incorporate training sessions on first aid and CPR for emergencies. These topics are a critical part of considering your employees' well-being. They won't just be trained to care for themselves, but you’ll also equip them to look out for their coworkers during a time of need.

  1. Injury prevention – Even if you have the most modern office in your area, your office still faces a risk for injuries. If they are sitting in front of their desks the whole day, they can develop lower back pain and postural problems. With studies claiming that "sitting is the new smoking," it's crucial to organize your space in such a way that will encourage movement in the office.

  1. Promotion of emotional intelligence – Emotional and mental well-being are part of a human's health needs. Giving your employees sessions on dealing with their emotions can also help them manage their stress or at least encourage mindfulness and self-reflection.

 

Benefits of Prioritising Workplace Fitness

Once you have a solid program up and running, it won’t be long before you see changes in your company. Here’s some of what you can expect.

  1. Better stress management – Sometimes, work can get tough, and employees need an outlet to release their stress before diving back into their tasks. Physical activities are the best way for them to manage their stress! Besides giving them something else to focus on, for the time being, these moments are undeniably the best avenues for them to get to know their peers better as well. It's a win-win.

  1. Overall less absenteeism – Having healthier employees means fewer people calling in sick for work. Giving your people the tools and means to take care of themselves can significantly lower absenteeism and keep business running as usual.

  1. Attract top talents – You can leverage your workplace health benefits on your company profile by showing other applicants that you care about your employees. You never know, but this might be an edge that others are looking for. Developing a holistic program and sharing it could very well do good for business as well.

  1. Have more confident employees – Help your employees reach their fitness goals by encouraging them to take an active part in their lifestyle! Doing so will develop their confidence and improve their moods. This will positively benefit the mental and emotional state of your employees, which is fantastic for both themselves and everyone else they interact with at work.

  1. Learn more about your team – This can also open lines of communication between you and your team members about what other kinds of topics are vital for them to learn or engage in. This is invaluable in their personal growth as well, and to find a company that values both that and their professional trajectory in the company is something they will appreciate.

 

Fit to Work

Health topics cover a vast number of functions, from emotional and mental to physical and intellectual. Your company should invest in as much time and resources in health coaching just as much as you would in business coaching. Make it a habit to include health and wellness programs in your company initiatives to nurture a culture of employees who are health-conscious and positive.

A great way to execute this idea is to create a dedicated workout space or indoor gym for your employees if there isn't an accessible one nearby. Indoor Sport Services can provide you with a range of necessary equipment necessary to make your vision into a reality. Don't worry—you don't have to create something grand! Rather, focus on building a space that contains all the essentials so that they will be motivated to focus on their health.

You can also have experts over to talk about emotional wellbeing, diets, and other topics that would go more in-depth into issues they are interested in. The key here is to ask your team about what interests them and build on from there. You won't go wrong by thinking of your people.  They are what builds your company, so take the time to listen to what they think can improve their experience in the workplace.


Published at: 15-08-2019
Tags: workout exercise workplace fitness

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