Apart from obvious physical heatlh benefits, getting active at work has multiple positive spin-offs. Research has shown that exercise during a workday "...helped re-energise and improve concentration, made people feel calmer and particularly assisted with problem solving. Networking opportunities also seemed to thrive."
But the benefits aren’t all touchy-feely. International studies show that employers who actively encourage physical activity are rewarded with:
- Higher productivity
- Fewer insurance and worker compensation claims
- Fewer workplace accidents
- Improved staff morale
- Lower staff turnover
- Lower retirement, training and orientation costs
- An improved ability to cope with workplace changes.
The business edge
In today's competitive labour market, prospective employees are now more than ever paying attention to their potential employer's working culture and environmental credentials.
Employees value a workplace that priorities their well being at work. Encouraging and providing opportunities for staff to be active reaps multiple rewards. Aside from the business benefits mentioned below, encouraging your staff to travel more actively (eg. walking or catching public transport to nearby meetings) may save you transport expenses while promoting a healthier workplace.
It is estimated that:
- Return on investment for workplace wellness programs could be as much as 3 to 1.2
- Workplace physical activity can reduce sick leave by up to 32% and increase productivity by up to 52%.3
- Poor employee health and absenteeism is costing Australian business $7 billion annually.4
The on-costs of staff travel can be reduced by encouraging walking to and from work, too. Savings can be made on the costs of providing pool cars and staff parking (a single space can cost companies up to $1000 per year!).
And, with 7 out of 10 people thinking businesses should take responsibility for limiting climate change, reducing the amount of work-related car travel in your business boosts the green credentials that are increasingly important to both staff and customers.