Exercise breaks pay big dividends for employees and the boss

Jumping rope or doing yoga is as good for bankers as it is for boxers – indeed studies show that even a little jump-rope and exercise can boost employee productivity.

A recent report from the Institute for Health and Productivity Studies at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health outlines the correlation between fitness at work and increased employe productivity.

The report, “From Evidence to Practice: Workplace Wellness that Works,” makes no bones about it: “[K]eeping employees healthy is good for both the employees themselves and for the productivity and profitability of the business.”

But how does exercise improve productivity? Fitness consultant and mobility specialist Moshe Schwartz of Fitness on the Go offers some additional evidence. He provided staff at Talent Employment Inc. with high intensity training workouts. These were “boot-camp-style” activities coupled with yoga-style breathing relaxation.

And the result? “I noticed a happier and productive workforce… You’re thinking more clearly, able to focus better. People are taking fewer sick days,” he says.

study presented to the American College of Sports Medicine found that workers who devoted between 30 minutes and an hour to exercise during the work-day reported an average performance boost of 15 per cent. Six out of 10 employees said their time management skills, mood and mental performance improved on the days they exercised.

Improved productivity is not the only dividend companies receive when employees exercise during the work-day. A 2011 study published in the Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine showed that just two-and-a-half hours a week of exercise generated a “noticeable reduction in absences.”

Fitness expert Jennifer Ettinger assisted Michigan’s Tennant Floor Cleaning Equipment in health and wellness training.

The company bought, with her guidance and a budget of about a thousand dollars, more gym equipment, medicine balls, stability weights and cardio DVDs. Ettinger taught employees lunges, lifts, squats, for “functional training” that assisted in various practical improvements, including how to properly lift and carry boxes.

“You saw more productivity, confidence and morale in their employees; anxiety and depression reduced,” Ettinger noted.

For companies and their employees, who spend millions every year on management consultants in an effort to improve productivity and morale, they might better spend their money and time exercising during the work-day. Studies clearly show the payout from these investments are real.


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