We all know how important exercise is to our lifestyles, but few realise the volume of effect that healthy living and movement can have on working life.
There is a scientifically-proven link between exercise and brain health says Fast Company, and with 32% of businesses admitting they have lost money due to sickness absence, so says Bupa, bringing exercise and health initiatives into the workplace seems an obvious route for many.
Consider exercise initiatives in the AM
According to research by the Huffington Post, exercising in the morning can help boost your energy levels, particularly the energy levels available to your brain. Short bursts of exercise are fine – 20 minutes is the optimal amount of time for an otherwise sedentary person to receive the greatest health benefits.
Find the right choice for your business
If your workplace is full of runners and serious fitness addicts, then it’s likely not going to be that useful to get everyone on a 10-minute walk at lunchtime. On the other hand, if the workforce is mainly desk-bound, then a simple series of stretches twice a day might be incredibly beneficial. Talk to employees, find out what they’re interested in, and come up with an initiative that appeals to them – after all, if they’re not willing to partake in your new initiative, you certainly won’t be boosting much productivity!
Don’t push too hard
Any exercise or healthy living initiatives should be, first and foremost, fun for everyone. Initiatives should also not be mandatory, or else you run the risk of making employees feel forced, or even alienated. Try to avoid any negativity between colleagues – ensure that the promotion of your wellness scheme around the workplace is purely positive, and that employees know it is not compulsory.
Think outside the box
Health initiatives don’t just mean exercise or healthier diets. Workforce stress can come from many aspects of daily working life – long commutes, impossible workloads, even just spending days chained to your desk without having time to step outside and grab a coffee. Flexible working can be an answer to those issues, as can changing office culture (as well as office space designs) to include more breaks and opportunities to socialise with colleagues.