It might be difficult to guess from the headline but I am actually talking about health and fitness in the workplace. Now do not worry, don’t go converting the 3rd floor office into a state of the art gym yet (although some companies have). Its worth seeing why health and fitness should form any part of a companies offering to their employees. So what are the benefits ?
Firstly there is the cost of absenteeism to your business. in 2015 it was estimated sick days cost the UK economy £29 billion. So its good to know a recent study conducted by the NHS found out that staff who exercised 3 times a week were 37% less likely to take a day off sick compared to their non exercising counterparts. Its pretty simple, healthier staff, get sick less and fight off illnesses quicker, meaning less sick days off. A study in The US found that staff who exercised before work were up to 49% more productive at work than other employees. These 2 points alone surely mean improving your employees health and fitness levels is worth considering.
The benefits do not stop there. When you exercise the body release serotonin and adrenalin, 2 hormones that increase mental clarity and cognitive functions. The increased blood flow around the body and, firing nerve synapses means the body can react quicker and perform tasks, physical or mental, more efficiently. The burning of calories and the ‘stoking’ of an employees metabolism means exercise makes you feel more energised and more productive for the days work.
Out of all the sick days taken a huge 43% are due to stress or stress related illnesses. Exercise can make a massive difference. When we exercise the body releases endorphins, a hormone that makes you feel happy. When you are stressed does anything feel better than; hitting a punch bag (rather than colleague), going for a run to clear your head, throwing around some big weights or sweating it all away in a HIIT class? Exercise is better than any drug in improving your mood.
Equally as important as what you do with your body is what you put into it. I can pretty much guarantee any workplace I walk into I will see; cakes, biscuits crisps, a vending machine selling fizzy drinks or unhealthy snacks. This unhealthy eating culture at work is embedded into our society, but it shouldn’t be. These high calorie but low nutrition based snacks make employees feel sluggish, create a sharp rise in insulin production, and in a short period of time will actually make th person feel hungry again. Employees need to eat healthy, nutritious foods to maintain the energy levels required to perform full days work. Complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, vitamin and mineral rich vegetables, and energy dense nuts and seeds provide excellent sources of nutrition while at work.
So what can you do ? Not every company can afford to install a gym or pay for each employee to have their own personal trainer, but there are simple things that every employee and employer can put in place. Firstly make people aware of the benefits of health and exercise, place up posters, send out links and follow health and wellbeing schemes and initiatives. At work set simple exercise tasks like; use the stairs instead of the lift, walk or cycle to work, or go and physically speak to a colleague rather than just email them. At lunchtime encourage staff to go outside, go for a walk, get some fresh air and vitamin D into their bodies. They will come back feeling revitalised and ready to get back into work.
Maybe the best solution? Seven Hills Fitness offer an in house health and exercise class delivered at your place of work. Get all the benefits mentioned in this article with the team building and camaraderie of the team working out together. No hassle of travelling to and from gyms, sitting in rush hour traffic and getting more stressed. Have one of our top qualified trainers come to you and deliver an fun, engaging differentiated high energy workout.
So what are you waiting for? start creating your super fit, super healthy, super productive, super reliable, team today!
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