Fitness Programs Bring Out the Best In Employees

Everyone who has spent an entire day at an office between rush hours knows how stressful the daily grind can be. And with the current popularity of rotating, round-the-clock shifts, the pressure is further exacerbated by erratic work and sleep schedules, affecting the employee’s productivity, and the company’s output as well. Employees who spend most of their time at the desk tapping away on a computer terminal are at a health risk, since prolonged immobility encourages the buildup of fat and lowered body resistance, and no company wants to have an employee who is too sick to go to work.

This is probably the reason why many companies, particularly those in the IT industry, are sizing up their biggest competition yet – an unhealthy workforce. The usual day of an IT employee usually revolves around the cubicle, with short and infrequent stops to the water cooler or the coffee maker. The bagels don’t help either. And considering the prolonged postures which they have to assume in front of the computer, the strain to the back and the limbs, combined with the mental and pressures associated with the regular quotas, can be too much even for the most hardnosed team player. A proper fitness program is crucial in bringing out the best in employees, and conscientious companies know it.

Research has shown that physically-active team players not only contribute more to the company, they are also better representatives of the company’s labor profile. Physically-fit employees have reduced stress levels even during the periodical deadline rush, and they are able to deal with last-minute assignments more efficiently than those who are otherwise burned out with the current load. A fit workforce can also save the company in the long run since there are fewer health risks to answer for, fewer health insurance duties to cover for, and an upsurge in employee attendance leads to better productivity and more gains. Of course, a program which must be implemented across the board should be as efficient and sustained as any of the in-house policies.

Initially, there should be an awareness program in place to inform the employees of the company’s goal; they should also know about the immediate and long-term benefits of all the activities included in the program. The message may be sent out to employees through a combination of numerous methods: pamphlets, symposiums, newsletters, memos, and even inter-department contests and pop quizzes. This measure should be maintained as long as the fitness program is in place. Incentive is also a good reason for an employee to participate in such a program; the company may provide the employee who lost the most inches in the waistline with an extra day off (with pay, of course).

Such measures may be held on a regular basis so that employees have a goal to look forward to. Finally, the company should provide methods which allow the employee to involve himself in a fitness regimen. An in-house gym or activity court may be built within the company compound, or employees may be provided with subsidized membership to a nearby fitness club. Considering that an IT employee may spend most of his or her waking hours at the office, the company can give back to such a contribution by ensuring that the employee enjoys a more fulfilling life, in the pink of health. Not only will the mutual efforts boost both the company and the employees’ morale, both will also reap in the long-term benefits which a fitness program can provide.

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