Encouraging Physical Fitness for Employees – It Does a Business Good

It is no secret that physical fitness is one of the keys to a healthy life. But what does this have to do with business or your bottom line? Believe it or not, companies that encourage physical fitness among their employees have a lot to gain. 

According to Statistics Canada, more than three quarters of Canadians do not get enough physical activity, which is unfortunate because physical activity has so many benefits including weight control, lowered risk of critical illness, and improved mood and energy. 

These benefits spill over into the workplace as well. A study by Leeds Metropolitan University found that employees who took time for exercise during the workday had more energy, were more productive and had better job satisfaction than those who did not exercise. 

For business owners, a benefit of encouraging physical fitness among employees is that it may help decrease absenteeism due to illness and possibly even help you lower their premiums on group insurance as benefits usage decreases. Numerous experts agree that living an active lifestyle helps to lower the risk of a number of conditions including hypertension, diabetes, chronic pain and even some types of cancer. Regular exercise can also help strengthen the immune system so that the body can more easily fight off common illness like the cold and flu! 

Regular exercise is beneficial not only for physical health but for mental health as well. Researchers in British Columbia found that aerobic exercise has the ability to increase the size of the hippocampus in the brain which may lead to improved memory and problem solving skills.  It is also now clear that regular exercise has the ability to lessen the severity of certain mental illnesses such as chronic depression. This is significant considering that each week there are about 500,000 Canadians who miss work because of issues related to mental health.  

So, what can you do to encourage physical fitness among your employees? That is going to vary based on the company and the particular demographics of your team, but here are a few ideas:

  • Develop an employee wellness program.
  • Promote a company culture that allows for work/life balance so employees feel that they have time for physical fitness. 
  • Offer in-house fitness classes such as yoga or aerobics. 
  • Partner with a local gym to offer your employees discounted memberships.
  • Encourage employee sports teams or participation in various charity events like walks or runs.
  • Provide a secure area for employees to leave their bicycles. 
  • Bring in speakers to present various information related to health and fitness. 

When it comes to promoting physical fitness among your employees, there is really no downside. And with so many possible ways that you can encourage physical fitness, there is bound to be something that works for your company.

To learn more about other initiatives your company can implement to support your employees and strengthen your business, read more of our TeksTalks today.