Both employers and employees understand the importance of physical wellness. It is only a physically active employee that can perform optimally – to the benefit of the employer – while enjoying several work-related benefits such as improved memory, mental stamina, concentration, and ability to learn faster.
Even with its known benefits, encouraging employees to stay physically fit can be expensive, considering the need to provide exercise equipment or on-site personal trainers. However, some hands-on tactics work across three basic areas –workplace efficiency, environment, and culture – and which can encourage physical wellness among your employees.
When there are adequate support and participation from top-level leadership, wellness strategies thrive better. So, leaders are expected to inform employees of the need for optimum physical health constantly. And this can be achieved by encouraging active participation in sports organized or facilitated by the company, partly or fully sponsoring employees’ involvement in local races, or working with local fitness centers to allow employees access to their facilities at subsidized rates.
In addition to these, leadership should endeavor to participate in some of these activities. Physical wellness program tends to be successful in a culture that ensures that all levels understand its importance.
The creation of visual cues around the workplace is a good way of reminding employees of the need to make choices that will ensure their physical wellness. According to HR expert Peter Williams from Ultimate Performance employees will find it impossible not to notice the on-site track or gym they walk past daily, and they will be encouraged to take more of healthy snacks if there is some form of signage that shows how the snacks can keep them healthy. Post signs showing how using the stairwell can help in burning calories will reduce the use of the elevator. If all these and more are incorporated correctly, it reminds employees of the need to always maintain their physical well-being at all times.
However, seeing is not as important as acting on these visual cues. Research had shown that employees tend to offer improved productivity and time management, alongside better communication with their peers when they exercised during working hours.
Ergonomics is the science that describes the level of efficiency exhibited by employees in work environments. When maximized, ergonomics can contribute to reduced muscle fatigue, increased productivity, and lesser chances of work-related injuries, including rotator cuff injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome, among others.
Most office workers will find the adoption of simple ergonomic practices quite useful. For instance, the 20/20/20 rule is great for vision breaks – a schedule that requires an individual to take a 20-second break every 20 minutes to focus their eyes on an object placed 20 feet away. This has been proven to avert severe eye strains associated with jobs that require individuals to stare at the screen for long. Likewise, extra furniture and fittings like adjustable chairs, standing desks, and lumbar support can offer comfort for workers that use the desk more often. A two-minute break after every hour also goes a long way in relieving stress.
About Michae Richard
Michael Richard is a former business consultant and entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience and a wide variety of knowledge in multiple areas of the industry. He currently resides in the Southern California area and spends his time helping consumers and business owners alike try to be successful. When he’s not reading or writing, he’s most likely with his beautiful wife and three children.