Boost Productivity: POW8R’s Guide to the Benefits of Exercise at Work

A healthy workforce tends to be an overall happy workforce. If employees are generally not very healthy then this will negatively impact their well-being.

Your employees are the lifeblood of your business which means their well being is paramount.

That’s why you should consider introducing corporate fitness.

There have been countless studies to show the benefits of exercise and this particular study in 2021 specifically looked at the importance of workplace exercise.

The data revealed that workplace exercise directly improves workers’ quality of life, reducing the rates of repetitive strain injuries/work-related musculoskeletal disorders, occupational stress, and burnout syndrome.

In this article, we will take a deeper look into the benefits of exercise at work.

Why is Physical Activity in the Workplace Important?

why exercise at work?

Not all work environments will need the encouragement of physical activity. This is because some jobs are already physically demanding.

Warehouse and construction sector jobs will require more physical activity in comparison to sedentary office jobs.

If an employee is sat at a desk for 7-10 hours a day with little to no exercise this can be detrimental to their health.

On the official NHS website, it states that adults aged 19-64 need to do at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity a week or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity a week. 

Not getting enough physical activity can lead to a number of health problems including:

  • Heart disease.
  • Musculoskeletal problems.
  • Cancer.
  • Type 2 diabetes. 

How Can You Encourage Physical Activity in the Workplace? 

Let’s take a look at some methods you can use:

Buy a Subscription to a Fitness App

power up new brand

Having access to workouts on demand during a busy working day could prove crucial for your working schedule.

That’s why fitness apps are a great way to start introducing exercise into the workplace. 

POW8R is a health and fitness app that can cater to businesses wanting to provide a corporate fitness programme.

We offer an easy-to-use app which provides your employees with instant access to over 600 workouts to suit all fitness levels.

Staff members can monitor their progress privately using our built-in weight tracker and picture gallery. 

We’re more than just a fitness app, we see ourselves as a community which can cultivate a positive attitude for your employees to get healthier and fitter. 

Provide On-Site Facilities

onsite office gym

If you can afford it, having an onsite fitness facility based in your workplace is a great way to incentivise physical activity during working hours.

The convenience of having a place to train will be a huge incentive for employees to make use of the facilities.

One of the main reasons people don’t exercise is the seeming inconvenience it causes. An onsite workout space eliminates that inconvenience.

Employees may also find the gym a daunting experience. 

Having a smaller, more intimate space for them that is situated in a place they are more familiar with will encourage them to get over any gym anxiety they experience.

Flexible Work Schedules

Allow flexible work schedules that accommodate physical activity, such as longer lunch breaks for exercise or the option to work remotely occasionally to fit in workouts.

Employees value flexibility. Studies have been conducted to show the links between work flexibility and work related well being.

Encourage Walking Meetings

walking meetings

Instead of sitting in a conference room, encourage walking meetings. Walking is one of the easiest forms of exercise because it is accessible to the majority of people.

This low barrier to entry makes it a great exercise routine to incorporate into the workplace. Walking not only promotes physical activity but also enhances creativity and productivity.

According to a research report published by Stanford University, walking has been found to increase creativity by up to 60%

Standing Desks 

woman stood at standing desk.

Offer standing desks or adjustable desks that allow employees to alternate between sitting and standing throughout the day.

Doing so will reduce sedentary behaviour and promote a number of other benefits to your employees.

For example, one study found that reducing sitting time to 3 hours per day would raise the average American life expectancy by 2 years. 

Incentivise Activity

Provide incentives for employees to engage in physical activity, such as wellness program rewards, gift cards, or additional time off.

Having an incentive is a great way to boost motivation to achieve a desired outcome.

This study from 2017 showed that incentive-based programmes led to significant positive effects on both physical activity and sedentary behaviours, as well as improvements in BMI and blood pressure.

The Benefits of Exercise at Work

Incorporating exercise into the workday offers numerous benefits for both employees and employers. Here are several advantages:

exercise in work

Improved Physical Health 

Regular exercise can have a hugely beneficial effect on your physical health, these include:

  • Improves Cardiovascular Health – Regular exercise strengthens the heart muscle, improves circulation, and helps lower blood pressure. It can also raise levels of HDL (good) cholesterol and lower levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol, reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular conditions.
  • Aids in Weight Management – Exercise helps to burn calories and build muscle, which can aid in weight loss or weight maintenance. It also boosts metabolism, making it easier to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Strengthens Muscles and Bones – Weight-bearing exercises, such as strength training and resistance training, help to strengthen muscles and bones, reducing the risk of osteoporosis and fractures. Strong muscles also support joint health and mobility.
  • Enhances Respiratory Function – Aerobic exercise, such as running, swimming, or cycling, improves lung capacity and efficiency, leading to better respiratory function. This can reduce the risk of respiratory conditions and improve overall endurance.
  • Boosts Immune System – Regular moderate-intensity exercise has been shown to enhance immune function, reducing the risk of infections and chronic diseases. It can also help the body recover more quickly from illness or injury.
  • Reduces Chronic Disease Risk – Regular physical activity is associated with a lower risk of developing chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, certain cancers (e.g., colon cancer, breast cancer), and metabolic syndrome.
  • Improves Sleep Quality – Regular physical activity can improve the quality and duration of sleep, leading to better overall health and well-being. It helps regulate circadian rhythms and reduces symptoms of insomnia and sleep disorders.

Increased Energy and Productivity 

Exercise boosts energy levels and enhances mental alertness, leading to increased productivity and efficiency in the workplace. 

Employees who exercise regularly often report feeling more focused and motivated throughout the day.

One study found that there was a positive link between physical fitness and workplace performance

Workers who exercised moderately produced higher quality work and performed better in their jobs than those who did no exercise.

If a significant proportion of your workforce is engaging in physical activity then their performance and output should improve, leading to better results for your clients.   

Stress Reduction

reducing stress with exercise

Physical activity is known to reduce stress levels by triggering the release of endorphins, which are natural mood elevators. 

Incorporating exercise into the workday can help employees manage stress more effectively, leading to a healthier work environment and improved morale.

Workplaces can be stressful environments so sometimes stress at work is unavoidable.

But by having an exercise protocol in place you could be well equipped for when stress levels begin to rise. 

Enhanced Mental Health  

Regular exercise has been shown to have a positive impact on mental health by reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Exercise triggers the release of endorphins, which are chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers and mood elevators. 

This release of endorphins leads to feelings of happiness and well-being.

Physical activity helps to reduce levels of stress hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline. 

Regular exercise can alleviate symptoms of stress and tension, leading to a calmer mind and improved ability to cope with stressors.

Exercise can improve the quality and duration of sleep.

Better sleep patterns have a direct positive impact on mental health, as adequate rest is essential for mood regulation, cognitive function, and emotional well-being.

By providing opportunities for your employees to exercise at work, you can support their mental well-being and create a more positive work culture.

Improved Employee Working Relationships 

Exercise can significantly improve employee working relationships. When people share experiences they naturally get closer.

Participating in group exercise activities such as team sports, fitness classes, or outdoor challenges creates shared experiences among employees.

These shared experiences can strengthen bonds and create common ground for building relationships.

Exercise activities often require teamwork, coordination, and communication to be successful. 

Working together during workouts or sports encourages employees to communicate more effectively, whether it’s through verbal cues, nonverbal signals or simply cheering each other on. 

These improved communication skills can translate into better collaboration and teamwork in the workplace.

Friendly competition during exercise activities can be a fun way to motivate employees and build relationships. 

Whether it’s through team sports or fitness challenges, healthy competition encourages employees to push themselves and support each other in achieving common goals.

Studies have shown that friendly competition promotes growth

Reduced Absenteeism

Regular exercise can help prevent illnesses and injuries, leading to fewer sick days for your employees.

By promoting a healthy lifestyle and providing opportunities for employees to stay active you can reduce absenteeism.

If your workforce takes fewer sick days then your company will be more productive.

There have been many studies to show how physical exercise can lead to fewer employee absenteeism. 

This particular study conducted in 1995 revealed that physically fit workers reported fewer absences than less physically fit workers

The main reason for this is due to the many benefits that exercise affords to employees both mentally and physically.

Jobs can be a huge stressor in people’s lives. Thanks to exercise this stress can be alleviated and handled better when physically active. 

While being physically active won’t solve all of your employee’s problems, evidence shows that it can make a significant impact positively. 

Corporate Fitness With POW8R

As you can see there are a variety of benefits to introducing exercise to the workplace.

It’s evident that workplace exercise is becoming increasingly popular, even huge companies such as Bjorn Borg are making exercise mandatory for employees

Companies of this size and stature will only encourage other companies to make the step towards exercise in the workplace.

If you’re a business that is considering implementing corporate fitness then we would love to work with you.

Our qualified trainers can help keep your workforce fit and firing on all cylinders with tough workouts and stellar nutrition advice.
We work with businesses of all sizes so if you would like to see if we’re a good fit for each other then please use our contact form and we can tailor a package to suit your needs.


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