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A Happier and More Productive Workforce: How to Encourage Staff to Get More Active

Research from the World Health Organisation has found that a quarter of adults around the world don’t get the sufficient levels of physical activity needed to live a healthy lifestyle. Businesses should take note of this, as there is a direct correlation between exercise and workplace productivity.

In fact, a study by the University of Otago in New Zealand has found that employees who exercise regularly are 13% more productive at their workplace. This seemingly small percentage could have a huge impact over time if more workers took up exercising and could see huge increases in productivity and output.

For those wondering how best to broach this topic with your employees, Ben Mercer, mountain bike enthusiast and director at bike business: Leisure Lakes Bikes, offers some top tips to encourage staff members to get more active for benefits both inside and outside the workplace.

Share the statistics

Many members of your team might already be considering investing more time into their exercise routines to benefit their health. One thing that could help them finalise this decision is sharing your findings with your wider teams.

Effective, open, honest communication is crucial for making your workforce feel valued and part of the conversation. By conveying the data and research you’ve done into the benefits of activity and exercise can have on both mental and physical health, you can help push your workforce to engage more actively with their bodies.

Embrace the everyday fitness – cycle to work and more

There’s plenty you can do around your workplace to make it more accessible for those looking to benefit from exercising to and from the office. Many might see their morning and evening commute as the perfect opportunity to burn some calories and get the blood pumping through their bodies through the likes of cycling or even donning some trainers and running.

Nothing is sure to discourage people from exercising before work than the prospect of arriving sweaty and worn out without a place to get changed into their uniform or appropriate attire. Or worse, be forced to smell for the rest of the day. Introducing purpose-built changing rooms with showers is a great remedy for this.

Similarly, for those cycling, they’ll want to be sure they’re able to safely store their bikes while they’re working. Bike racks or sheds can encourage cycling without fear of theft or damage.

Provide benefits and incentives

Everyone loves a freebie, and offering benefits and incentives to those in your workforce who want to get a bit more active could help drive the idea home. You could partner with local sports brands that make and sell fitness and workout gear, ranging from apparel to peripherals like wrist straps for weightlifting. Their brand gets free exposure, and your workforce gets some additional equipment to help them during their workouts.

Gym memberships can sometimes be costly, making people uncomfortable committing their hard-earned money to a membership contract. Offering a discount or a free trial membership for a few months when they first start with your business could help get them into the groove of going and exercising. If they enjoy it, they might sign up for a full membership and feel encouraged to go more frequently and learn about exercises that help them become more active.