The importance of employee physical activity to help your wellbeing in the workplace
Physical activity, such as playing for a local team, attending gym sessions, or even doing your daily dog walk, often acts as a respite or at least a break from all of your other commitments in life, including your job. However, research shows how an improvement in physical wellbeing is intrinsically linked to an improvement in work performance.
At Myles Wellbeing, we believe in making employee physical wellbeing simple. Physical activity is certainly at the crux of this sense of wellbeing as exercise helps make happier and healthier employees. From increasing energy levels to reducing stress, the benefits of physical activity are numerous, just read below to see for yourself!
At work, it is possible to encounter daily stresses and problems that all take their toll on your body. Exercise can be used, however, to balance stress and improve mental health since it reduces cortisol levels (the body’s stress hormone) while sweating releases endorphins that help relax your mind.
A Harvard study also showed the boosts in productivity from exercise – including enhanced creativity, quicker learning and improved concentration – which are all skills beneficial to the workplace. In the UK, a Leeds Beckett University study found that workers who visited the gym during working hours were more productive, gained a higher satisfaction from work and managed their time better.
Increasing energy levels
For those who say they “don’t have the time” to exercise, especially after a long day of work, it is important to bear in mind that such physical exercise can actually help you in your work, by making you feel energised, and so it is something to consider when dividing up your time.
Energy levels are an important indicator of wellbeing and engagement. Research from Myles Wellbeing shows how nine out of 10 adults are not feeling energised and that 80 percent of adults are not hitting their daily recommended activity levels.
One of the best ways to battle fatigue is to work out. Exercise improves circulation and strengthens the heart muscle – providing an instant rush of energy. High energy levels will increase work output, showing another benefit for exercise in the workplace.
Exercise, most obviously, helps with good health. According to GOV.UK, around one in three (34 percent) of men and one in two (42 percent) of women are not active enough for good health. Concerns can therefore arise with NHS statistics showing how 10,780 hospital admissions are directly attributable to obesity.
Not only does this cause a massive strain on the NHS, but it is a problem that can be solved by exercise and a good diet. Research has shown how regular exercise promotes heart health by lowering bad cholesterol levels (LDL) and raising good cholesterol levels (HDL). Exercise therefore helps strengthen the heart, allowing it to work harder and longer, and so employees will also be able to work longer.
The improvement to employees and the workplace from physical exercise are certainly vast. It is clear that exercise and the workplace do have a dependent relationship because the benefits from physical activity culminate in an improved, higher work output from all employees!