Research proves that workplace exercise programs make you happier, more staisfied with your job & perform better.
Workplace health is well-known from a negative point of view, i.e. preventing injuries in the workplace by following OH&S policies & procedures. Whilst this is of course important it misses another equally important, much more positive but often neglected side of workplace health, & that is the potential to significantly increase your job satisfaction & improve your performance. This is a real win-win situation because everyone benefits: you find your work more enjoyable & fulfilling, & better performance helps your business or organisation as well.
The UK government set a target for 75% of companies to report on employee’s wellbeing in 2011. Instead of being a burden to corporations the studies showed that workplace health & fitness programs improve job satisfaction, increase productivity & reduce absenteeism. Results showed that after exercising employee’s work performance is consistently higher, they have better time management & improved mental sharpness. They are even more forgiving of their colleagues! The research concludes that workplace exercise programs bring great personal benefits to employees & also give companies more efficient employees who work better together1,2.
How can getting fit at work help me?
Research papers consistently show multiple employee benefits from workplace fitness programs. Probably one of the biggest ones is mentioned above – who doesn’t want to feel more satisfied with their job! Achieving the elusive work-life balance is much easier when you really enjoy your work.
Specific resistance training or all-round physical exercise results in significant reductions in blood pressure, lower body fat & a 30% reduction in duration for shoulder & back pain8. Another study showed that vigorous intensity physical activity lowered the risk of injury amongst white-collar workers with neck & upper limb symptoms9. Obviously these results are great for you in everyday life as well as when you are at work.
There is also strong evidence to show that exercise helps you cope with stress much more effectively & reduces rates of depression & anxiety3. There are several mechanisms for how this works, with the main one being the way that exercise stimulates the release of feel-good chemicals like endorphins to lift your mood & outlook, give you energy & help you to concentrate.
Want that promotion or pay rise?
The KPI’s that most companies use for promotion & pay increases include productivity levels, deliverables being produced on-time, management of people &/or tasks & overall contribution to the organisation. Given that there is solid evidence that exercise helps you concentrate better, be more productive, cope better with stress, have more energy & be more socially engaged with your work, it is logical that exercise will translate into higher KPI achievement & that can only be good for your chances of promotion. In fact employees who participate in worksite fitness activities have fewer health risks & 1.3 days less short-term disability6, whereas those who didn’t participate in the worksite fitness activities were 1.62 times less likely to produce work on time due to health-related issues.
Do you manage a team or run a business? What’s your return on investment?
Workplace exercise is an absolute win-win for both your team & your business. Having a healthier, happier, more productive & engaged team is obviously a great thing for your business. Helping your team take less sick leave & manage stress better can only be a bonus for everyone.
Improving workplace fitness has been shown to directly increase profitability. Organisations that managed workplace health well increased their financial performance by more than 2.5 times4. One study showed that workplace health & fitness programs resulted in a 25% decrease in sick leave absenteeism & a 41% decrease in workers compensation costs, saving $5.81 for every $1 invested in employee well being5. Not a bad ROI!
What type of exercise is best?
Research so far shows that workplace exercise programs need to incorporate cardiovascular fitness, specific resistance training & all-round physical exercise of vigorous intensity. A pre-exercise health screen is needed to ensure people are safe to join the program. Also, because a relatively high intensity of exercise is recommended, technique correction & program adjustment by a qualified professional is critical. Given that exercise also reduces the impact of neck & back pain on productivity, & this is potentially one of the biggest cost-savings, it is also crucial that the trainer knows about specific exercise for injuries of this type.
Having effective pre-program screenings, highly-skilled trainers & structured programs that include all of the above components will help both employees & businesses be healthier, happier, more productive & successful.
How can we help you?
At Central Performance we make it really easy for you, your team & your business to get all of these benefits of exercise. All of our programs follow 3 core principles;
1. make it safe
2. make it effective
3. make it fun
We have great exercise classes before work, after work, evenings also lunchtime sessions to choose from. We cater for all fitness levels, & your thorough initial assessment will ensure that you get on the right program for you that is safe as well as helping you achieve the results that you want. Come as a team, or come by yourself & join the group for a great fun session to energise your afternoon!
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Want to add team bonding to all the other benefits of exercise? Easy.
Contact us & we will come & meet you to talk about a program that’s just right for you. We can arrange session times to suit your business as well as tailor a program that’s perfect for your team. Health checks to track improvement & flexible payment options are available.
Danny James, Personal Trainer and Strength & Conditioning Coach
Danny manages the development & delivery of our corporate fitness programs at Central Performance. His training philosophy is simple: to help people become just a little better than they were yesterday. He has worked with exercise beginners through to conditioning elite athletes & teams to excel at the highest level of competition. Working within the Central Performance team gives Danny the expertise to get people working at their maximum whilst making sure their programs are safe, effective & great fun.
Danny is a Certified Personal Trainer registered with Fitness Australia, Certified Strength & Conditioning Coach with the Australian Strength & Conditioning Association, Licensed State Weightlifting/Sports Power Coach with the Australian Weightlifting Federation, Accredited Sports Trainer with Sports Medicine Australia, Certified Functional Movement Screen Exercise Professional Level 2, Accredited Australian Sports Commission Coach, & a member of the National Strength & Conditioning Association.
1. ACSM, June 2005. Study: Workers more productive after exercise. Press release. www.acsm.org
2. McKenna J. & Coulson J. (In press). How does exercising at work influence work performance? A randomised cross-over trial. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 37:5 (suppt)
3. Anxiety & Depression Association of America, www.adaa.org
4. Wellness & Productivity Management. Right Management 2009: http://www.rightmanagement.com.au/assets/x/50990 [2009 October 16]
5. Chapman LS. Proof Positive. An Analysis of the Cost Effectiveness of Worksite Wellness. Seattle, WA. Chapman Institute.
6. Burton WN, McCalister KT, Chen CY, Edington DW. The Association of Health Status, Worksite Fitness Center Participation, & Two Measures of Productivity. Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine 2005:47(4);343-351.
7. Wattles & Harris. The Relationship between Fitness Levels & Employee’s Percieved Productivity, Job Satisfaction, & Absenteeism. Journal of Exercise Physiology online 2003:6(1);24-32.
8. Pedersen MT, Blangsted AK, Andersen LT, Jorgensen MB, Hansen EA, Sjogaard G. The Effect of Worksite Physical Activity Intervention on Physical Capacity, Health, & Productivity: A 1-Year Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine 2009:51(7);757-770.
9. Bernaards CM, Proper KI, Hildebrandt VH. Physical Activity, Cardiorespiratory Fitness, & Body Mass Index in Relationship to Work Productivity & Sickness Absence in Computer Workers With Preexisting Neck & Upper Limb Symptoms. JOEM 2007:49(6);633-640.