It’s obvious that we feel better, happier and are healthier when we include moderate exercise as part of our day-to-day routine. And employers should be encouraging employees to exercise at work. A study for the American College of Sports Medicine found that workers who exercised at least 30 minutes throughout the work day reported an average performance boost of 15 percent. Of those employees, 60 percent said when they exercised they felt their time management skills, mental performance and ability to meet deadlines improved. Plus the employees who participated in the study also said they were less likely to succumb to post-lunch energy dips if they exercised earlier in the day.
If your office is large enough for a small exercise gym, then recycle some old computers to free up space and look into convincing the powers-who-be to invest in exercise equipment. You won’t need anything too fancy to get the benefits from exercising at work.
For example, researchers at the University of Birmingham monitored 56 sedentary office workers at the university to see if walking during the day would improve their office outlook, the Huffington Post reports. The observed employees were told to walk for 30 minutes during their usual lunch period, at least three times a week. The Birmingham study found that these 30 minute walks boosted the employees’ moods and increased their ability to manage stressful situations in the office.
Considering the weather tends to be temperamental and going for a long walk outside isn’t always feasible, investing in a few treadmills can bolster employee morale, health and productivity.
And boosting productivity and performance through exercise is a win-win for everybody involved.
A study by Leeds Metropolitan University suggests employees who get exercise during regular work hours see a performance boost. The Leeds researchers had more than 200 employees from a variety of companies self-report their personal performance levels on a daily basis. They then examined fluctuations within individual employees, comparing their work output on days when they exercised to days when they didn’t, HBR reports. The study discovered that when employees visited the in-office gym, their experience and outlook at work changed. The employees said they managed their time more efficiently and were more productive. As a bonus measure, the case subjects reported going home feeling more satisfied at the end of the day.
The trick here is to get employees to actually use the equipment so it’s not a wasted investment. Easiest way to do this is to incentivize employees to meet personal fitness goals. Maybe a handful of people want to lose five pounds, another couple of people want to gain a few pounds and then a select few crave to do a set number of chin-ups. Create a competition and give a small, but desirable reward. Have employees keep track of their fitness goals through a comprehensive fitness tracker.
If your employer isn’t interested in investing in exercise equipment, then bodyweight fitness is your best bet to feel better while at work. Push-ups, squats, lunges, chair dips, and planks are a handful of the body weight exercises you can do at work. They don’t require much space, and although your strength gains will be limited, they’ll give an excellent workout and leave you feeling healthier and happier.