If you have a full-time job, you spend the vast majority of your waking hours at work. The fact of the matter is that most people who work in corporate settings sit at their desks throughout the majority of the day. If you haven’t heard it before, hear it now; sitting is the new smoking. Living a sedentary life does serious damage to your health and well-being. Prolonged sitting will slow your metabolism, increase your risk of heart disease and certain cancers, decrease productivity, and the laundry list of negatives goes on. Employers need to understand the negative effects that a traditional workplace environment can have on their employees, and proactively create solutions to these problems. The time is now for all employers to prioritize wellness in the workplace.

I can go on and on about the negatives that inactivity has on individuals, but I’d rather focus on the other side of the coin. On average, healthy employees save their employers $1,500 per year compared to their unhealthy coworkers. A study done by Doctors Richard Milani and Carl Lavie of a random sample of 185 workers at a single employer in a work-site exercise and cardiac rehab program show that every dollar invested in the intervention yielded $6 in health care savings. The national loss in productivity from obesity related absenteeism is astounding at $8.65 billion per year. If Corporate America was a sports team, the time is now to shift its focus from defense to offense. Instead of paying for sick days and high insurance rates, employers can allocate funds toward healthy food providers, wellness education programs, and most importantly, corporate fitness classes.

Group exercise in the workplace benefits employees in a multitude of ways. Exercise has been proven to reverse negative mental states such as depression and stress, two factors that lead to a decrease in work productivity. We all know that exercise improves our physical health, but it also makes individuals more health conscious. On average, employees who exercise also eat healthier, drink less alcohol, and smoke less compared to their counterparts. Other benefits of exercise include improved clarity of thought, reduced stress and anxiety, and increased happiness. It might seem obvious, but happy employees are less likely to quit their jobs than unhappy employees.

From high intensity interval training to yoga, corporate fitness classes offer employees an opportunity to live a healthy lifestyle while becoming an even more efficient worker. There is something to say about the stress relief that exercise provides working professionals. Alongside helping each individual, the bonding that takes place during group fitness classes in the workplace will improve office morale. Since we spend the majority of our waking hours at work, why not make positive use of our time? If a company truly cares about the health and wellbeing of its employees, then it should offer them the opportunity to exercise together in the workplace. As an employer, we at RightFit Personal Training can structure your organization with a corporate fitness program specific to the needs and desires of your employees. It is essential to understand that such programs will help benefit your company’s bottom line. Give us a call at 847-337-9401 or email us at matthew@rfptllc.com for a consultation.

Matthew Kornblatt is a Chicago native and Founder/CEO of RightFit Personal Training. As a fitness entrepreneur, Matthew practices what he preaches. When he’s not working on his business, you can find him in the gym, running on the lakefront, or attempting to play basketball.

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