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Physical fitness in the workplace – are companies aware?

By Angela Knox | Jul 12, 2020

What can employers do to help staff maintain a level of fitness and health that increases workplace productivity?

 

These days there are lots of pressures on employers and company HR departments when it comes to keeping their staff happy and fulfilled. 

And there are a myriad of of rules and regulations which have to be complied with and mountains of red tape to fill the day, all of which take up precious time.

It’s challenging enough recruiting and managing staff and their needs within a company without adding more levels of responsibility to their workload.

But if you could find something which proved to be a simple and demonstrable way of not only motivating your employees but also making them healthier, happier and more productive, would you think it worthy of your attention?

Potential for change in the health and wellbeing of company employees

These days, there are vast amounts of material published on a daily basis about the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, in the form of exercise and fitness plans, as well as healthier eating. 

And physical fitness in the workplace is a subject that is also coming under the spotlight.

It is so overwhelming that it is difficult to keep up, and there are new theories being claimed about what is best for people all of the time.

One minute this food is healthy, then it isn’t, and something else comes along to take its place – and the debate about low/high fat and good/bad fat continues, sugar is the enemy, proteins v carbs etc etc etc. 

It is confusing just following these trends for ourselves, let alone conveying information to anyone else.

So if there was an easy way of helping your employees to get more engaged with the process of achieving and maintaining health, it is probably something you could get on board with – and it would help your staff to be more productive (and you to be more popular too).

Changing anything is always challenging, and if you have a large amount of employees in a company or organisation, adopting wholesale programmes of behaviour change is not something that will happen overnight.

But the first step is to accept the need for changing and recognise how it can be of benefit to both the company and its employees.

How to engage your employer in change programmes

Sometimes educating an employer is the first stage of a process that has to happen before even thinking about communicating with employees.  Especially if it involves something that the employer has to participate in and put their support into – and that could take time.

The way to highlight the benefits of a physical fitness or employee wellbeing programme to an employer is to communicate the upsides and benefits to the company, including productivity improvements and an increase in profits.

When they understand this principle, explaining how the employee benefits will make the process easier, as the employer will see that it’s a win-win for everyone involved.

Also, getting buy-in from an employer who is fully engaged and supportive of a new initiative will mean a better chance of success than if they feel railroaded into grudgingly accepting the idea.

The plan that is ultimately adopted can then be communicated and implemented throughout the company in the most effective way possible, thus ensuring maximum take-up of the idea, and hopefully embedding the change into the company’s culture.

When employees are given the chance to improve their lives and their workplace effectiveness through an initiative that has been put in place by their employer, how positively will they view the company?

And how good will this be for the company’s reputation and internal PR? 

We think it has the potential to be transformative! 

Angela Knox

Angela Knox

I am a co-founder and director of Keep Fit Eat Fit Wellbeing Ltd and have come from a business and marketing background over many years, with a particular interest in everything to do with health, fitness and overall wellbeing. Having worked in offices for decades, I know the pitfalls of too much sitting at a desk, the challenges of fitting the gym around other commitments, and all the issues addressed within our website. The personal experiences of me and my partner Mark were the original inspiration for the concept of this website. Enjoy!