We all know exercise is good for us. Usually we credit physical fitness to the regulation of basic vitals, weight loss and endurance. However, what we often fail to recognize is the direct link physical fitness has on our ability to learn and be productive.
A Forbes article spoke to this very point and cited the following, “Dr. John Ratey, author of Spark - The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain says that exercise improves your brain in the short term by raising your focus for two to three hours afterwards. If you have a presentation or speaking engagement try to work out beforehand; you'll be at your peak when you have to perform. In the long term, it can even help starve off brain aging and Alzheimer's. This works on the cellular level through neuroplasticity, the ability of the brain to improve itself with blood flow and levels of brain-derived protein.” The article went on to link exercise with productivity, “It's a proven fact that productivity begets more productivity. When we're productive and efficient it propels us to succeed more. After exercising in the middle of the workday, workers are more likely to be kinder to their co-workers, increase their work performance and improve their time management.”
As companies, it only makes sense to offer an outlet for physical fitness and wellness – the kind that employees can easily access and fit within their unique needs. Consider the following ways to incorporate fitness into your workplace and help increase productivity throughout your workforce:
Leverage what is already there
For some companies that have an entire building or property, look at the layout and what can be leveraged for fitness opportunities. Draw attention to existing walkways, stairways and routes to adjacent restaurants, buildings, etc. Consider putting in basketball hoops if you have a portion of the parking lot that is frequently vacant. Use open spaces throughout your office during lunch times to offer classes like yoga or Pilates. Take a good look at the space you have and how you can encourage physical fitness within that space; chances are you’ll find a lot of potential!
Encourage fitness with increased awareness
After evaluating ways you can leverage your existing building, walkways, green spaces, etc. make an effort to educate your workforce on how those spaces can be used. Organize walking or biking campaigns, create opportunities for informal sports activities like soccer, frisbee, basketball, etc. When there is a greater effort to increase awareness and organize opportunities, more people will take advantage of the easy options made available to be active right in their workplace.
Offer wellness benefits that make fitness easy
Part of what can make physical fitness difficult is the perceived lack of time and ability to make exercise a priority. Which is why so many of the largest companies provide onsite facilities that make it relatively easy to use. However, not all companies are able to offer that onsite accessibility. That doesn’t mean you can’t provide a customized experience that allows individuals to choose the best time of day, type of exercise and location that is best for them. In many cases, the freedom to choose based on personal preference and needs will result in greater participation – which can directly influence productivity.
Encouraging your workforce to be physically fit is not only beneficial for them, it’s beneficial for your bottom line. Make exercise a priority by creating opportunities that are easy for employees to engage. By leveraging your existing infrastructure, finding ways to make small improvements and providing access to customizable fitness, you’ll be well on your way to the most productive workforce to date. Learn more about providing that customized workplace wellness experience by contacting the ClassPass Corporate team.