Physical Activity simply means any bodily movement required to produce and expend energy.
Being physically inactive causes adverse health implications and increases the risks of many illnesses including coronary heart disease, stroke, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes and even certain types of cancers!
It is highly recommended, for an adult to exercise at least 4 times a week, for 20 to 30 minutes, per day.
However, most people still struggle to fit in any kind of physical activity. The most popular reasons I hear – too busy, hectic schedules, chasing deadlines and running errands in and out of work i.e. no time for exercise!
Being complacent to – one is not overweight or unfit hence does not require to be physically active, is also another excuse not to incorporate exercise into your life.
Most illnesses begin at the workplace. A slight backache, ignored and soon develops and causes major injuries to the spinal code.
The key is to obtain good knowledge on the importance of an active lifestyle and addressing the benefits of incorporating exercises in your everyday life.
This is where as an employer, you step in to promote the health benefits and importance of physical activity at your workplace. You can easily access this information pertaining to health and fitness at your local medical centres, libraries, and the internet.
You can start by encouraging your employees to practice these simple exercises at work:-
Leg Extension – While seated, grab the side of your chair for support and extend your legs straight so its parallel to the floor. Flex and point your toes 5 – 10 times. Relax and continue this repetition 3 times. This exercise works the legs and abs!
Chair Dip – Hold onto the edge of your chair with both hands whilst seated. Bend your knees, slowly slide off the chair and lower your body, with your arms supporting your body weight. Straighten your arms for a count of two and repeat 12 times. Works the triceps!
The Stair Master – Simply use the stairs instead of the lift. Try two steps at a time for a full body workout that strengthens, tones and sculpts your core muscles!
As an employer, it is your responsibility to acknowledge the risks of physical inactivity and bring awareness to your employees.
There are several ways you can engage your employees in physical activity:-
- Lead by example – be a role model that your employees want to follow
- Make being healthy and a fit lifestyle an essential job requirement
- Practice simple office workouts as above
- Invite your employees to participate in outdoor activities
- Perks of being active – free memberships for your employees at the local gym
- Allowances – Encourages cycle or walk to work with colleagues
- Encourage employees to take swimming lessons to strengthen and correct posture to enhance their physical activity
- Short distance jogging and/or power walking during lunch breaks
- Encourage employees to use stairs instead of the lift
Many leading business corporations in the UK, participate in fun activities together for their local and charity events to bring health awareness to the public.
This is another way you can encourage your employees to lead an active lifestyle. It also highly benefits both you and your employees in achieving:-
- A better public image – a great opportunity to play the role model to other companies
- Increase in productivity – being physically active helps to de-stress and keeps the mind focussed which in turn allows room for innovative and creative ideas
- Less absenteeism – helps prevent industrial injuries and staff turnover as employees are healthier and less prone to fall ill and helps them to recover sooner
- Job satisfaction – working in a healthy environment contributes to happier staff and a positive working atmosphere, increasing self-esteem and confidence in completing their workload
- Profitability – all of the above adds to the value of the organization as a whole, enabling to achieve company target through the workmanship of its now, healthier and fitter employees.
All it takes is a few minutes every day to be physically active, to make a huge difference that contributes to your health and wellbeing. And your body and mind will thank you for it!
DONT make excuses, Make Time for Exercise!