As an ex-corporate employee I’ll be the first to admit that I was one of the biggest cynics when the HR department would request my presence to discuss wellness. I always thought of it as a way for them to tick objectives rather than truly caring about their employees.
Now that the tables have turned and I’m part of the health & fitness industry, I currently look at what wellness means for companies and the types of services offered to them to promote wellness to their employees. In my training and own personal research I have found the benefits to wellness are extensive including, increasing creativity, helping to maintain high energy levels and managing health goals. There are a multitude of courses and training available to address all aspects of wellness from, stress to anxiety to sleep issues.
As a personal trainer I help companies predominantly in the physical health aspect of the wellness. Although my role extends well into areas such as time management, goal-setting, improving self-confidence and mental health, as these are all things that interest me and what I believe to be an important part of wellness and maintaining your fitness goals. Sport and fitness have been a big part of life, in my younger working days it was mostly football and now I’m aiming to make the GB age group for triathlon.
I was keen to contemplate how my physical health influenced my work life. In my 18 years of work, mainly in IT sales, my personal attendance record was very strong and I regularly (and probably annoyingly!) reminded my colleagues that at my first ever job out of uni that I had only had time off for a punctured lung and a ½ day at that! I believe my own fitness helped me to be a more productive employee, happier person and reduced days I spent ill. This leads me on to an article I recently read by Julie Boehlke where she looks at four ways that exercise helps to improve work productivity.
Benefits of exercises:
- Alertness & Energy Levels
- Optimum Physical Health
- Improving Mental Health
- Preventing Illness
I don’t believe companies are ignoring the impact of exercise on work productivity. As many companies offer some sort of wellness benefit to their employees. This is often through a subsidised gym membership (which I’m not knocking). In some cases this would improve exercise levels, but for many they might join the gym and never use it. I recall vividly a conversation with a former boss, and her telling me she was ‘Off for her annual £1,000 swim!’
How can companies help their employees?
What I do think is that companies could improve their methods to get employees to fit in fitness. My question to companies is how as an employer or line manager can you encourage your employees to make wellness a priority? Could you encourage lunch time running clubs or maybe you could sponsor a five a side football pitch? Possibly you could put in a policy that allows employees an extra 30 minutes at lunch if they prove they have been at the gym or doing sport. The majority of work premise have some sort of showering facilities and others in a managed business park have un-used empty space which can be maximised for various types of exercise. Whether this is subsidised or funded completely by the company or policies are changed is not for me to say, but the evidence suggests that physical exercise has a huge benefits for the worker and the company.
TM Personal Training offers a wide range of circuit classes and personal training options for individuals as well as companies. If you are interested please email me.