Editor: Kartikeya Chaturvedi
When we think about our offices or workplaces, fitness is not necessarily the first thing that comes to mind. Many of us spend our days sitting at our desks looking at computer screens, and a lot of us even eat our lunch at our desks.
However, encouraging fitness in the workplace can actually be extremely beneficial for employers. The endorphins released during exercise mean that employees have more self-confidence and energy, they have more positive attitudes when at work, and they are less stressed too.
Fit employees are also much less likely to get sick – if there is a bug going around the office, those who don’t look after themselves and exercise regularly are far more likely to fall ill. Encouraging exercise among your staff could not only lead to a fall in the number of short-term absentees, it could also have an effect on long-term absenteeism too. Employees looking for advice on boosting employee health can visit the advice hub, which contains lots of useful information on employee well being and health.
There are many different ways for employers to encourage their staff to keep fit, regardless of company size. We often hear stories of big companies like Google who can afford to build in-house gyms for their employees. While that is a fantastic solution to encouraging workplace fitness, it’s hardly realistic for most companies.
you run a very small company, the chances are you won’t have a big budget to spend on keeping your employees fit. However, there are very simple, low-maintenance ways to promote workplace fitness, such as encouraging walking meetings, or positioning printers farther from desks. You could set up a company sports team, or encourage staff to commit to taking part in a charity fitness challenge, like the London to Brighton bike ride or Three Peaks Challenge.
There are also specially-designed programmes springing up all over the country focusing on corporate fitness. Companies can now employ personal trainers who are experienced in running fitness classes for groups of staff, large or small – whether that’s a yoga class, intensive cardio workout, or dance class.
On top of everything else, showing employees that you care about their fitness levels is a great way to boost morale. It demonstrates to your employees and colleagues that their health and well being is important to the company they work for – the positive benefits of which can hardly be understated.