Improve concentration, self-esteem and workplace relationships across your business
Helen Abbott, Finance Coordinator, Fabric IT
Why do we exercise?
Exercise can reduce your risk of major illnesses, such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and cancer by up to 50% and lower your risk of early death by up to 30%. NHS
If you’re like me, you may spend your weekdays sat at your desk, staring at a computer screen, and sometimes even eating lunch there. Law says we should be taking regular short breaks from our work, but what if there was more we could be doing to boost productivity, and contribute to employee wellbeing in a small way that creates a more significant impact in the office?
Should companies allow exercise during work hours?
Yes! Both employers and employees should be encouraged to do so. Fitness and exercise isn’t necessarily the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of office work, but it definitely should be! Exercise is a powerful tool, and not just from a physical aspect. It releases endorphins which trigger positive feelings, resulting in:
- A decrease in stress / Lower anxiety
- An increase in energy and attitude
- Improved concentration
- Improved mood & boost of self-esteem
- Better workplace relationships
How does this benefit us as a company?
Happy, motivated staff are generally healthier, and this can mean fewer days off due to sickness. Being productive and focused at work can help get tasks done more efficiently. Who wouldn’t want a willing workforce?
Use your time wisely
Working life can make fitting in physical activity difficult, but that’s no excuse not to get moving. Start your day off right; ditch the car for a bike, or if you’re feeling particularly energetic and it’s practical, why not consider running! Use your break to get up and move. Use the stairs; walk around, get your daily step count in. In your lunch hour move away from your desk, change the scenery, be it going to the gym, or going for a walk.
Remember, SOME activity is better than NONE
Did you know? 1 in 4 women and 1 in 5 men do less than half an hour of moderate physical activity a week (Gov UK).
If you or your colleagues fall into this category, here are some simple ideas to get you moving:
- Team sports, e.g. football
Fit At Fabric
We place a lot of emphasis on the importance of a healthy lifestyle. Free gym memberships, at Bollington Health and Leisure, or a more convenient alternative, are offered for all staff and we encourage everyone to attend ‘Gym night’, ran by our office manager. Here, staff can assist one another with exercises and tips as well as be there for moral support. Research from the NHS shows that whatever your age, there’s strong scientific evidence that being physically active can help you lead a healthier and happier life.
Our very own Phil from the service desk cycles into work every day, and our Marketing team; Grace going for a walk at lunchtime, and Anna has recently started to cycle to and from work.
As well as lunchtime gym sessions, we have a few dedicated colleagues who go every Wednesday after the workday has finished, proving that exercise can be fun and that we do actually like each other!
We also offer free fruit and nutritious snacks and encourage a healthy, balanced diet. We place a lot of emphasis on the importance of a healthy lifestyle.
At Fabric, we feel it’s extremely important for our workforce to maintain a healthy work/life balance. Flexible working is available and over half of our team work from home on a weekly basis. Whether it’s for childcare, saving time on commuting or simply for comfort, remote working is becoming more popular with our staff and we’ve had excellent results. Fabric made significant changes to improve staff well-being in the workplace. Everyone has full health and life cover including a digital GP service where staff and their children can have instant doctors’ appointments and live chats on a mobile app.
If you have found other ways to involve work and exercise, please let us know, we’d love to hear your ideas!