Here are five reasons every workplace should consider adopting group exercise, with ideas and suggestions to get people involved.
More and more research emerges everyday on the benefits of physical activity on physical and mental health. We speak from experience when we say office sweat-sessions are a must.
Here are five reasons to get overcome the minor embarrassment and get your staff exercising together.
1. It will create a community feel
Changes to organisational structures are a common occurrence in the workplace. These unavoidable changes can often leave employees feeling a disconnect between them and management. Group exercise sessions demonstrate a priority to creating a sense of community – employees will naturally unwind and interact as a group during group exercise. Even for reluctant staff, the opportunity to roll their eyes and have a laugh as they get into it can be really healthy for team building.
Our Suggestion: Invite a yoga or pilates teacher once a week into the workplace to target stress and to make it easier and convenient to fit into everyone’s busy schedules.
2. It will encourage staff to have a break and step away from their desk
Sitting is the new smoking. With the emergence of research around the dangers of sitting we’re beginning to understand the multiple work-related musculoskeletal disorders it can lead to. Encourage staff to regularly get up and move, stretch, and walk over to talk to colleagues instead of emailing. Creating a culture of regular stretching for everyone to take part in throughout the day will help promote circulation and reduce muscle tension.
(For more on the dangers of back and spine health at work, read our report.)
Our Suggestion: The 10am, 12pm, 2pm stretching. Set the phone alarm to go off at those times, and lead your team in a series of stretches at their desk.
3. It will improve the mental health of your staff
Just like our physical health, we all need to make time look after our mental health. It’s important to remember that physical activity not only improves to body’s ability to move but also clears the mind and works the brain. Exercise and regular activity also happen to be one of the best tonics for overstressed-workers.
Our Suggestion: Take your team meetings outdoors. Research suggests that walking makes people more creative and engaged (and the fresh air won’t hurt either). Also, place a sign at the lift encouraging staff to take the stairs instead. We’re all about incidental exercise, especially if the benefits are happening without even trying!
4. It will make your staff happy
Healthier employees are happier, work harder, help their team mates and are more efficient. From our experience employee wellness leads to an impressive increase in employee engagement and workplace satisfaction. So although it seems like physical activity would tire out your staff, exercising throughout the day actually has the opposite effect. The more you workout, the more energy you have.
Our Suggestion: On a friday afternoon, play some music through speakers around the office and encourage people to get up and dance (warning: laughter, both happy and embarrassed, may occur as a side effect).
5. It will show staff you care
Employees appreciate it when the organisation they work for takes the time to think about their wellbeing. And, once the health effects kick in, they will thank you all the more.
There are various free and easy ways you can start to implement health & wellbeing into the workplace. Once the benefits become more widespread and successful within the workplace, you can build your case for a budget!
Two Six Wellness is a Melbourne based wellness hub that provides practical health and wellbeing programmes for corporates.