Research around physical activity and being in a more positive mood is extremely robust. A study at Penn State University showed that physically active people are happier and another study at the University of Northern Illinois proved that bosses who don’t take the time to exercise are more stressed and lash out at their employees, compared with bosses who make time for fitness.
Exercise is not just great for the heart and keeping a healthy weight it also helps blood flow into the brain to release pleasure-inducing endorphins that promote happiness. Staying fit is going to help you be happier, which essentially will reduce your stress and anxiety, (which means less sick days) give you a boost in energy, help you to perform better and think clearer.
Here are a few tips on how companies can encourage employees to get fit at work…
- Organize in house group exercises. Whether it’s yoga, Zumba or a trainer.
- Negotiate a corporate discount for a local gym and encourage employees to take a break and go.
- Promote participation in community events 5k runs, charity walks, local sports teams.
- Any smart boss will have staff go for a walk in the middle of the day. – One study proved that just 20 minutes outside would boost your mood, improve your performance, broaden your thinking and improve your memory.
- Something I love to teach when I go into companies is how to have a one on one walking meeting. Instead of sitting in a conference room you both benefit by moving around, getting some fresh air and setting yourself a goal of finishing your agenda by the time you return to the office.
If your company doesn’t promote getting fit then you need to make sure that you work out. Whether you go for a walk with a colleague, pop to the gym at lunch or take the stairs instead of the elevator.