Why is Company Fitness so important? we spend around a third of our lives working, that’s around 30 years of our lives devoted entirely to our jobs. Sat at our desks religiously for 8 hours a day, save for the odd toilet trip or coffee break. More and more now though, companies are realizing that this doesn’t make for healthy, happy employees and that if you don’t have healthy, happy employees then it will impact upon their effectiveness, and the effectiveness of the company overall.
Little wonder then, that corporate fitness programmes are being introduced in more workplaces than ever. For some companies this means investing in a workplace fitness facility. But for most, it means bringing personal trainers in-house for dedicated staff fitness sessions, offering discounted rates for employees at fitness studios in London and beyond, and promoting healthy activity as part of the working day. And the great news is that corporate fitness has huge benefits for both the company and the employee.
1) Helping employees be more active: Statistics for Public Health England say that Brits are 20% less active now than we were in the 1960s, and if things carry on as they are, by 2030 we will be 35% less active. They suggest at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity a week which is 30 minutes a day. Achievable you might think, but they report that 1 in 4 women and 1 in 5 men aren’t meeting this minimum. A corporate fitness programme is a fast track to helping employees achieve at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week.
2) Managing stress: Stress is a huge problem in workplaces, but many employees may not have developed the link between exercise and reducing stress levels. A study by Worth, Green & Bliss found that 86% of users of a corporate fitness programme felt less stressed as a result of exercising, but that 2/3 didn’t actually use the service specifically to reduce stress. This suggests that introducing corporate fitness programmes can be beneficial in targeting those employees who are stressed as well as those who may not even realise that they are stressed, or may not fully understand the benefits that exercise can offer them to manage both workplace and general life stressors.
3) Easier for employees: A big reason that people don’t exercise is that it becomes merely another item on an endless to-do list, surpassed by other seemingly more important concerns. The great thing about a corporate fitness initiative is that they can often be undertaken in work time so are seen as part of the working day, rather than eating out of perceived free time. The 2001 study by Worth and colleagues found that the time that employees most often utilise a corporate fitness programme is during their lunch break or after work, this makes it more convenient and easier to maintain longer term, leading to more effective results for both employee and company.
4) Physicality: A study by Vingård and colleagues in Sweden looked at a group of women who were employed in the social service sector such as nurses and care workers, all jobs that have a strong physical element. One group were offered a fitness programme once per week during work time alongside expert advice from a trained coach, and the second group were not offered the workplace fitness programme at all. The group who were offered the fitness programme and associated advice reported improvements in both general health and work ability. Interestingly, older women who were offered the workplace fitness initiative had increased expectations of future work, suggesting that the workplace fitness programme made them feel more positive about their ability to physically undertake the work in the future. This is all evidence that corporate fitness programmes can help people to stay physically fit for the jobs that they do, as well as mentally and emotionally prepared to commit to the job longer term.
5) Productivity: One of the main benefits for employers of corporate fitness programmes has to be seen through increased productivity. Exercise boosts physical fitness, mental alertness and energy levels, so when employees exercise regularly as part of the working day, it can boost productivity. This is consistent with research from Worth et al. who found that employees who exercised at lunch reported feeling more awake during the afternoon. It is important to recognise that corporate fitness programmes take time not only to implement but for employees to adopt, and significantly, for the benefits received by employees to filter through to the organisation. Thus, measures of effectiveness from corporate fitness programmes are best seen over the span of years rather than months.
6) Socialising: The benefits of workplace socialising have long been known. The after work drink at the pub, or an evening gathering at the local all help employees to bond. The problem is that the majority of traditional workplace social functions are geared around drinking which isn’t something that companies can endorse or encourage. A brilliant benefit of corporate fitness programmes is that they enable staff to mingle and socialise in a healthy, stimulating environment, allowing staff to develop strong working relationships.
7) An employer of choice: Employees have significant choice now when it comes to choosing an employer, and often it comes down to additional incentives offered by a particular firm. Often, a well devised, consistent and well promoted corporate fitness programme can demonstrate that the employer is focused upon employee wellness- making it a more attractive proposition overall.
If you’re thinking about introducing a corporate fitness initiative in your London based company, give Right Path Fitness a call. We can devise a bespoke corporate fitness package for you and your employees. Whether that means discounted fitness or personal training sessions at our new London studio space (opening September 2018), group training sessions delivered in the workplace or a one-off fitness focused team building event, we can help. Call 07719565568 and find out more about our corporate fitness packages in London