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Why you should provide health and fitness training for your team

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by Startacus Admin

health and fitness employees
Keith McNiven
, founder of London based personal training company Right Path Fitness, tells us why you should provide health and fitness training for your team.

Your staff are your most valuable asset, they are the ones who represent you at the front line, provide customer service to your customers and clients and ultimately determine if your business will sink or swim. What you need to succeed are staff who are motivated, energised and ready to take on the challenges of their job, not lethargic, jaded and stressed. For most companies and employees, the difference comes in health and fitness training, and there are huge benefits.  

1. Battling inactivity. Research now is pointing to the fact that the biggest threat to public health is actually inactivity. And where are people at their most inactive? Well health and fitness employeesusually it is at work with around 8 hours every single day sat down behind a desk. A one hour gym session per week isn’t going to be enough to counteract 40-45 hours of sitting down, so try to make corporate fitness programmes centre on being more active every single day. Maybe that’s with an organised daily lunchtime walk, or with a different fitness activity each day in a meeting room, the key is encouraging staff to get up from their desks and be active for a greater portion of the day.

2. Ability to do the job. More and more jobs now have physical elements, and corporate fitness programmes play a big part in helping employees stay fit enough to do their jobs safely without injury. An interesting study with women who were enrolled in a workplace fitness programme found that those under 45 years reported improved work ability and general health whilst those over 45 had improved expectations of future work. This suggests that corporate fitness programmes can affect both physical ability to perform a job, but also mental readiness.

3. Helps to manage stress. Figures reported by ACAS say that over 480,000 people in the UK in 2015/6 suffered with work related stress- that’s a whopping 40% of all work related illness. Clearly, stress is a huge health and fitness employeesissue for both employees and companies, and corporate fitness programmes can play a big part in helping staff to better manage and alleviate stress. An interesting point to note is that many staff won’t admit to suffering with stress due to the perceived stigma, and will often join in with corporate fitness programmes for reasons other than stress. Yet, one study showed that 86% of workplace fitness attendees felt less stressed from exercise, despite the majority (2/3) not citing stress reduction as their primary reason for joining in.

4. Increasing productivity. Productivity is a key challenge for not only businesses but the larger UK economy, so much so that there are government supported websites and initiatives to help companies on their mission to ramp up productivity. There have been many studies into the links between corporate fitness programmes and productivity, and the evidence suggests that on the whole, there is a strong link. This study in Stockholm found that even with using work hours to exercise, productivity increased, potentially due to greater stamina and less absenteeism. Workplace health and fitness programmes can also impact upon perceived health and fitness employeesfitness, which makes a lot of sense, an employee goes to the gym and feels really motivated afterwards and is in the right mind-set for getting lots done. 

5. Psychological wellbeing. Mentalhealth.org estimates that 14.7% of people will experience mental health problems at work with 12.7% of all work related absence due to mental health conditions. Intuitively, we know that exercise is beneficial for mental health and this is backed up by science and research. One study with women enrolled on a twice weekly Tai Chi workplace physical activity programme found significant improvements in both physiological and psychological wellbeing.

6. Social bonds. A final benefit for corporate fitness programmes is that they can be utilised to develop relationships within teams. Strong working relationships between colleagues aid communication, performance and job role success and group based exercise in the workplace can help staff to create and deepen bonds in a healthy environment.

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Published on: 30th November 2018

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