Where does employee exercise fit in your workplace wellbeing strategy?

We recently had an overwhelming number of North East business leaders weigh in with their workplace stress management techniques, from which one of the recurring tips was to get moving in some way, shape or form.

It’s a well-known fact that regular exercise improves more than just our physical health. From reducing stress and increasing motivation to decreasing anxiety and improving sleep – physical activity can help us holistically.

So, why aren’t more organisations actively encouraging their people to get moving? It often comes down to the following employer excuses:

Work time is for work

Worried that jobs won’t get done if your employees aren’t glued to their screens from 9-5? It’s actually quite the opposite, there’s research that shows work time ‘lost’ on exercise is well worth it as it’s made back with increased productivity and improved time management.

By allowing time throughout the working day for staff to get moving, businesses can reap in so many benefits. That doesn’t mean you have to offer hours of fitness breaks - according to the NHS even just a 15-minute walk can have a positive impact, including a significant energy boost.

Pinterest, is a prime example of an organisation that’s actively encouraged employees to get moving throughout the day while working from home. The social media organisation used Slack to notify employees of an array of virtual fitness classes taking place during the day, giving 15-minutes notice to get ready and join. This even included a weekly dance class for parents and their kids to ease the home-schooling struggles!

We already do ‘our bit’

It’s clear that workplace wellbeing has changed massively over the last year. Gone are the days of simply offering staff discounts on gym memberships as a way of supporting the physical wellness of employees.

Of course, gym closures during lockdown have played a part in the change, however organisations are now realising that no-one-size-fits-all when it comes to wellbeing. This includes fitness.

Each individual member of staff will have a different preference when it comes to exercise, meaning employers need to work with their people to find out which physical activities they enjoy doing, to ultimately encourage movement.

Online fitness tools such as the Key Wellbeing Hub offer a variety of on-demand fitness videos where employees can choose between the likes of Yoga, HIIT Training, Pilates or a good old stretch, whatever it is that makes them feel good.

The business has a limited budget

What many organisations don’t realise is that building fitness into the business doesn’t require a large investment. In fact, it’s possible to incorporate exercise into your workplace wellbeing strategy without spending a penny.

Take a lunch time running club or walking meeting for example. You might even want to try introducing some friendly competition amongst individuals or teams – ideal for extra motivation and can act as a great team builder!

Besides, research shows that companies who have added health and fitness benefits into their workforce wellbeing strategy have seen a decrease in sickness absences as a result – saving you more in the long-run.

Make an effort, not an excuse

Are you a business leader that’s guilty of using one of the above justifications? Organisations that fail to support their employee’s wellbeing holistically, with initiatives that help mental and physical health, may be left behind.

Here at Key Wellbeing we can help you to embed a culture of fitness into your wellbeing strategy and reap in the benefits at an individual level, company level and recruitment perspective. Get in touch