by Spectrum Wellness
We’re often asked why companies should encourage exercise – here’s the answer!
There is no denying the benefits of exercise: It boosts your mood, increases energy and reduces the risk of health problems.It’s becoming more commonplace for companies to encourage wellness in the workplace as employee relations and human resource managers are becoming more aware of the benefits of a healthy workforce, but fitness often gets overlooked despite it being a scientifically proven booster of moods, energy levels and productivity levels.
It can be difficult for some people to find the time, or indeed the motivation, for exercise in their free time, so if companies want to reap the benefits of an active crew, they must find a way to encourage them.
One way to do this is to promote exercise in the morning among employees. Why in the morning? Here are just some of the reasons:
More likely to commit
Lunchtime and evening workouts are more likely to be skipped more often than a fitness class made available to the workforce in the mornings. Depending on how a person’s day is going, they may be exhausted, have last minute meetings, or they just want to go home when the working day is done! Morning classes a few times a week mean less scheduling conflicts, therefore a larger number of people are likely to commit.
A Better focused workforce
Exercise helps us become more focused and therefore productive. Exercise increases blood flow, and blood flow to the brain increases our acute awareness. A study conducted at the University of Bristol showed that after exercising work performance, time management and mental sharpness becomes consistently higher. This indicates that a morning workout will create a sharper and more focused team.
Better mental health in the workplace
A 2006 study in PubMed Central (PMC), the biomedical and life sciences journal, concluded that there are clear, evidence-based mental health benefits to exercise. These benefits include stress relief, improved mood and improved energy. Boosting these elements before the working day begins means that your workforce will start their day feeling more alert, less stressed and happier; this can only be a good thing for overall team performance. Longterm, it can improve staff morale, reduce sick days due to stress and mental illness and increase employee retention.
A rested workforce is a productive workforce
There have been countless studies that have proven early morning workouts as more beneficial for sleep than evening workouts. A later workout increases our stress hormones and gets our brains going at the wrong time, resulting in poor sleep and fatigue the following day. A morning workout will see your team developing a natural tiredness due to energy expenditure earlier in the day and getting a more restful sleep; this means that will be more productive the next day!
The team that trains together stays together! Encouraging group activities improves a sense of comradery among team members; it doesn’t always have to be after-work drinks and team days out, a workout session a couple of times a week is good enough to get your team socialising and forming a bond. A closer team means better productivity and more collaboration.
And one more benefit you might want to consider.
Companies in Ireland will soon be able to benefit from tax breaks for encouraging exercise in the workplace. This can be achieved by installing showers and making exercise equipment available to employees. The government is encouraging companies to make health and fitness part of their culture, so we’re likely to see more Irish companies taking on responsibility for their employees’ health and wellness. So it’s not only a case where companies should encourage exercise, they can benefit from a tax break if they do too!
If you want to facilitate a healthier workforce in your company, why not start simply by providing a workout space and introducing morning fitness classes?