Corporate Fitness: Why Companies Need Health and Wellness Programs

Employee Health: The Effects of The Work Environment.

A company’s profitability, sustainability, and overall success is directly correlated to the consistent production of quality work. The company relies on its employees to produce and ultimately make a profit. It has been proven in research that healthier employees produce more, at better qualities, and more consistently. Research shows that people who exercise regularly test healthier across the board. Thus, companies that invest in the process of keeping its employees healthy will see a greater profit margin, more reliable product, and a more sustainable business model.

Today most career require people to work at a desk all day. Some workers may spend as much as 8 hours in a chair with little to no movement out of that position. While other jobs can be more physically demanding; consider a painter, a fireman, a handyman, or a mechanic. One thing all jobs have in common is they impose forms of stress onto the workers neuro-muscular system that, if unchecked with exercise, will negatively impact their health.

This article presents information on:

  • how and why the average workers health is declining
  • why the health of the employee is valuable to a company
  • how these health issues can be addressed by implementing a corporate wellness plan

Currently people are developing pathologies and diseases at faster rates then ever before. A large reason for this exponential increase in disease states is peoples sedentary lifestyles. The average worker spends about 9 hours a day at work sitting and moving minimally. This lack of movement at work contributes to the employees health declining. This problem can easily be managed. The key is making it maximally effective and efficient so companies can feel compelled to offer such means to its employees. The end result is teaching each employee how to execute and strategically implement mindful exercises throughout the day with minimal time spent.

The journey towards correcting these issues starts with educating people what appropriate and healthy exercise is for them. Then people need to exercise consistently enough to produce the physical changes they want to obtain. Strategic exercise is an effective tool for offsetting the physical stresses and repetitive positions that occur in work environments. Companies have a tremendous opportunity to improve their profit margin by improving their employees health and quality of life. Companies can best achieve this by offering an educational platform that teaches its employees how to move and exercise in a efficient and healthy way for them.

Corporate Fitness: Creating a Healthier Work Force

There are a plethora of benefits that can be obtained through appropriate exercise. To ensure an individual benefits from the exercise they are participating in it’s important that the exercise is designed to account for their unique anatomical structure, health history, physical capabilities, levels of stress, skill level, and more.

Exercise sessions don’t need to take a large amount of time for it to beneficial, the goals of the individual and of the workout will dictate the length and frequency exercise should be utilized. As little as 10-20 minutes of strategic exercise 2 to 3 times a week can result in significant improvements in overall health. This is an important concept for companies to understand if they’re concerns in implementing and wellness benefit are time related.

Through the application of appropriate exercise within a work environment a company can expect a healthier workforce. A healthier workforce equals a more productive work force. Thus, both companies and employees can reap the rewards of implementing and utilizing a corporate fitness program.

Learn how Mindful Motion LA can help your company

Benefits of a Corporate Fitness Program

  1. Reduce the risk of obesity
    1. “Obesity-related medical expenditures cost Americans $147 billion in 2008 and has been projected to reach $344 billion by 2018.” American College of Sports Medicine
  2. Reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes
  3. Reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease
    1. “There are numerous health benefits related to physical activity. These health benefits include a lower risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and stroke, some cancers, and depression.” Center for Disease Control and Prevention
  4. Improve energy
  5. Improve productivity
    1. “A worksite wellness program that includes a physical activity component can help maintain a healthier workforce. A healthier workforce can benefit from reduced direct costs associated with health care expenses. The worksite wellness program also has potential to increase employees’ productivity reduce absenteeism, and increase morale.” Center for Disease Control and Prevention
  6. Reduce absenteeism
    1. “Estimated medical and absenteeism expenses for obese employees have been estimated to be between $400 and $2,000 per person per year higher than their non-obese counterparts.” American College of Sports Medicine
  7. Reduce sick days
  8. Reduce the risk of orthopedic injuries
    1. According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Work Related Musculoskeletal Disorders (WMSD) account for 34 percent of all reported workplace injuries and illnesses. These cost businesses more than $15-$20 billion annually in workers’ compensation.” Creating a Healthy Workplace
  9. Reduce health insurance premiums
  10. Improve mental and emotional states
    1. “Annesi and Westcott found that 10 weeks of combined strength and endurance training significantly improved physical self-concept, total mood disturbance, depression, fatigue, positive engagement, revitalization, tranquility, and tension in adults and older adults.” American College of Sports Medicine
  11. Improve mood and cognitive function
  12. Slow the process of aging
  13. Reduce the risk of orthopedic injuries
    1. “Allied Materials in Santa Clara, CA reports a 65% reduction in on-the-job sprains and strains after they initiated 5- minute stretch breaks twice a shift among clean room workers.” American College of Sports Medicine
  14. Slow the process of muscle loss
  15. Reduce the risk of osteoporosis
    1. “45 million Americans suffer from insufficient bone mass.” American College of Sports Medicine
  16. Improve quality of life

Companies are recognizing the monetary value of implementing health and wellness programs as a benefit to their employees. A corporate wellness plan will improve employee’s health and well being. In conjunction employees will have an enhanced knowledge and understanding on how to exercise and move well. Employees who posses these characteristics will be happier and more productive.

“More and more companies either are planning on or already have developed physical fitness programs for their employees. In the United States approximately 55,000 companies are involved in employee fitness and promote physical activities.” Does Fitness Increase Productivity?

Health and Wellness Programs Benefit the Company

Progressive companies that implement corporate wellness plans receive outstanding returns on their investments.

Companies can expect to:

  1. Increase their profit margin
  2. Reduce health insurance premiums.
    1. “Health care costs dropped about 10% over five years for Pitney Bowes after implementing a wellness program.” Creating a Healthy Workplace
    2. “Coors Brewing Co. saved $1.4million over six years from lower health care costs as a result of implementing a corporate fitness program.” Creating a Healthy Workplace
  3. Become a more desirable company to work for
    1. “These programs are often seen as a central component of an attractive employee compensation and benefits package that can be used as a recruitment and retention tool to attract and keep high quality employees.” Center for Disease Control and Prevention
  4. Increase employee retention
    1. “Organizations that support these programs consider them as an inexpensive benefit that produces the following returns: 1) increased ability to attract competent employees, 2) improved attitudes and loyalty, 3) increased employee productivity.” Does Fitness and Exercise Increase Productivity?
  5. Decrease turn-around rate
    1. “Toronto Life Assurance found that employee turnover during a 10-month period was lower for fitness program participants than non-participants – 1.5% vs. 15%.” Creating a Health Workplace
  6. Decrease sick day costs
    1. “UC Davis cut workers comp and sick leave costs by 39% after incorporating a series of strength training exercises into its employee’s eight-hour workday.” (IHRSA, International Health & Racquet Sports Club Assn., as reported in the Kalamazoo Enterprise, February 2003).
  7. Improve worker morale = lower absenteeism
    1. “It has been proven that those who are fit have less depression, less stress, and less anxiety than comparable people who are not fit. There is sufficient evidence to show that fitness significantly lowers absenteeism.” Does Fitness and Exercise Increase Productivity?

At this point it’s obvious, companies that provide health and wellness programs as a benefit to their employees have a more productive and happier work force. With a more productive work force there will be an increase in the profit margin. As well, the company will be providing a superior product than a company who doesn’t offer a corporate wellness plan.

Corporate Health and Wellness: What Services Should They Offer?

A company’s Health and Wellness plan should focus on improving the health and function of it’s employee’s muscular systems. Muscles are the engines for all human movement. Everything that people do at work and in life that requires movement is directly caused by muscles contracting; i.e. muscle tightening. Thus, how well people move and how they feel while they move is directly dependent on the health and function of skeletal muscle.

Employees with Healthy Functioning Muscle

  • Are stronger
  • Have healthier functioning joints
  • Have higher energy levels
  • Are happier
  • Feel better
  • Have a better quality of life
  • Age slower

It is of the upmost importance for people to keep their muscles healthy and strong. If appropriate force is not put through muscle the muscle will begin to atrophy (shrink), grow weak and intolerant of force, and become dysfunctional. The appropriate dosage of exercise is the best method to implore to maintain and improve the health and function of skeletal muscle.

“Age-related muscle loss is a starting point for a cascade of physiological problems, including bone loss, metabolic rate reduction, fat gain, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, heart disease, and all-cause mortality. Adults who do not perform resistance exercise lose almost 5 lbs of muscle every decade before age 50 years and up to 10 lbs of muscle every decade after age 50 years.” American College of Sports Medicine

Exercise Can Help Reduce Muscle Pain

Many of the common ailments that people experience at an office job such as carpal tunnel syndrome, sciatica, low back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, hip pain, knee pain, and foot pain can be remedied with specific exercise. Often times the pain people experience is muscle pain near the joint where the muscles attach. As the muscle begins to lose its ability to contract the muscular attachment sites, and the associated tendons, begin taking on excessive stress. If a muscle is functioning optimally stress is distributed throughout the entire muscle. Dysfunctional muscle will be unable to distribute stress effectively which then results in muscle pain. Muscle Pain and osteopathic pathologies disrupt an employee’s ability to execute their work effectively.

Muscle pain dysfunction are a result of muscular inhibition and weakness.

Some Causes of Muscular Weakness

  • lack of activity
  • repetitive use
  • stress
  • overuse
  • trauma
  • inhibition; a neurological deficiency
  • neurological pathologies

By addressing the muscular inhibitions and weaknesses associated with these pathologies employees can begin to experience a reduction or complete eradication of their muscular dysfunction; and a often times pain is reduced. Employee’s who are in pain will have a decline in their work quality and will produce less than an employee who is not in pain.

Employees who have pleasant experiences at work (not in pain all the time) will be more likely to stay with the company and continue to provide quality work. Thus, a company who provides a corporate fitness program that lower the chances of its employees developing degenerative health diseases and the associated pains will result in better employee retention and an increase in profits, a decrease in sick pay, sick leave, and absenteeism.

What Corporate Fitness Should Be: Appropriate Exercise

As mentioned earlier, appropriate exercise is the best method in achieving all the positive benefits a company would want out of their corporate fitness program. Specified resistance training improves the health and function of peoples muscular systems. In addition, through working with an exercise professional the corporate fitness program is also providing an educational platform that guides employees in understanding important physiological truths about movement. Teaching them about their bodies and what they should or shouldn’t do when it comes to exercise and physical activity.

Mindful Motion LA: Specialized Exercise for Muscle Health

Mindful Motion LA provides a specialized exercise process that focuses on improving muscle health and function. Mindful Motion LA will teach and train employees to understand more about:

  • Their unique physical attributes
  • How to move safely
  • How to exercise safely and efficiently
  • How to manage their daily work stresses with exercise
  • Understanding what muscular sensations to be attentive to and which ones to avoid
  • How to accomplish their physical goals
  • How to grow stronger
  • How to restore muscular inhibition

Companies should offer corporate fitness programs to their employees because it benefits both the company and its employees. Companies should recognize that not all forms of exercise are equivalent and some exercise methods are safer and more effective than others. Mindful Motion LA offers a specialized muscle care service that focuses on providing the best possible exercise process for its clients. If a company wants to improve its workforce productivity, improve its profit margin, and attract quality workers they should implement a corporate fitness plan with a quality exercise and muscle care service provider like Mindful Motion LA. Contact Mindful Motion LA to learn more.