Looking after employee fitness

According to the British Heart Foundation’s Physical Inactivity and Sedentary Behaviour Report, around 39% of UK adults are failing to meet the Government’s recommendations for physical activity.

 

Within the modern workplace, maintaining high levels of health and fitness can be a difficult task. Particularly within an office based environment - where we spend long hours sitting at our desk and rarely break away to eat lunch. The volume of deadlines and tasks we handle daily can at times result in us not being able to afford time away from our desks.

 

As an employer, you might be thinking it’s not your responsibility to look after your employees’ fitness. But did you know that poor health and absence due to sickness costs UK employers £77.5 billion every year? Yes, per year.

 

Encouraging fitness in the workplace is beneficial as it is likely to reduce the levels of employee sickness, whilst also increasing productivity.

 

For an employee, participating in regular exercise will boost energy levels and minimise the amount of stress they feel, thus helping them establish a more positive mind-set. Additionally, taking measures to consider employee’s health and wellbeing will demonstrate that you value your staff, encouraging them to stay within your organisation in the future.

 

Without healthy employees, your workplace may suffer the consequences, both from a financial and wellbeing perspective.

 

Work/life balance

Sometimes, your team members will struggle to balance their home life and their role at work.

 

There may be times when a deadline means an employee stays late, or when they may have an important presentation and need to spend time planning. But this should not be a regular occurrence.

 

If you notice it happening too often, you should review workloads and how the team can support each other better.

 

A rested workforce will also be a more productive workforce. It is important to check that your staff have appropriate breaks between shifts and are taking their lunch breaks - preferably away from their desks.

 

Keeping your staff moving

Perhaps you have some keen cyclists in your workplace. If you don’t already, could you offer a cycle to work scheme to help them with the cost of their bike?

 

There may be several gym-goers in your workplace. You could provide discounted classes and memberships for your employees, or perhaps a monthly on-site yoga class to help with your employees’ posture and positivity of mind.

 

Nutrition

There’s nothing wrong with providing treats at the end of the week, for example ‘fish and chip Fridays’. But there are definite benefits to having ‘fresh fruit Wednesdays’ as well.

 

The NHS recommends that we drink seven glasses of water per day (cups of coffee and tea can count towards that total, too). Eating a better diet and staying hydrated has positive effects on your employees’ health and productivity.

 

Routine employee check-ups

If you employ staff who work in high stress or labour-intensive jobs, you might consider providing regular health check-ups. This way, you can take steps to minimise the risk of harm towards your employees, as well as demonstrating your commitment to their health and wellbeing, both physically and mentally.

 

 

If you would like to find out more information on any of the topics mentioned in this article, please contact Health Assured on:

0844 892 2493

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