Friday, April 24, 2015
Does Exercising Help with Work Productivity?
Should companies allow employees to exercise on work time? Does devoting time to exercise help with work productivity?
Fit employees are less likely to get sick. A person who is physically fit is generally more resistant to “calling in sick” than a person who is not fit. Reduced absenteeism and reduced health care expenditures are the result of a fit employee base1.
Fit employees have more energy. One of the many benefits of regular exercise is increased and sustained energy throughout the day. This energy allows the employee to stay focused on the task at hand, bringing the best of them to each task. When you exercise, you are also increasing blood flow to the brain, which can help sharpen your awareness and make you more prepared to tackle your next big project. Researchers found that employees who enjoyed a workout before going to work or exercised during lunch breaks were better equipped to handle whatever the day threw at them2.
Encouraging fitness demonstrates a concern for employee's well being, and pays off! Employees notice when an employer shows concern for the health and well being of their employee base through a variety of wellness programs. Further, it has been shown that employee turnover is significantly lower among employees that take advantage of a wellness program implemented by their employer.
Employees who spent 2.5 hours a week being physically active are more satisfied with the quantity and quality of their work, reported increased workability and took less sick time than employees who did not engage in physical activity2.
My argument would be to allow your staff break time for exercise, maybe increasing lunch time, only if it is for physical activity. If you don’t have time to put in a full cardio workout each day, make small changes to meet your daily goals, such as walking during your lunch period or taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Make the effort at work and for yourself.
1Peterson, J. M. (2012, May 7). Exercising at work boosts productivity. Retrieved April 17, 2015, from American Psychological Association Center for Organizational Excellence: http://www.apaexcellence.org/resources/goodcompany/blog/2012/03/exercising-at-work-boosts-prod.php
2Lechner, L., & Devries, H. (2002). Starting Participation in an Employee Fitness Program: Attitudes, Social Influence, and Self-Efficacy. Preventive Medicine , 24 (6), 627–633.