The effect of sports on the health of employees… Most people, if not all, view sports with appreciation and admiration. You would hardly hear that so-and-so of the people went to the club or played sports until you heard the word: God willing! Almost everyone agrees on its benefits for health in general, and there is no difference between an employee, a merchant, a student, a housewife, or a farmer.
The effect of sports on the health of employees
With all this positive presence of sport in people’s minds as a synonym for the meanings of health and activity, there is a new dimension that has begun to emerge recently, and it is gaining the attention of companies and employers, which is its impact on the health of employees in particular and its relationship to increasing employee productivity.
- The employee is nothing but a human being, and the human being is a single unit with multiple aspects: physical, spiritual, psychological, mental, and social, and there is a complementary and reciprocal relationship between them, and any improvement in one of these components positively affects the rest of the aspects. By working to find a balance between these aspects and not to overwhelm one side over the other, the employee’s success, happiness, and satisfaction are achieved. Hence, the importance of the body and its activity and care for the employee’s health and well-being and increasing his productivity.
The importance of sports in increasing employee productivity
Sport contributes to increasing employee productivity through its positive impact on his physical health, psychological state, mental abilities, and social relationships in the work environment, which in turn is positively reflected on his performance at work, increasing his motivation, raising his productivity, and reducing absenteeism and sick leaves. How can sport achieve this in detail?
Sport prevents and treats diseases
Regular exercise – in conjunction with good nutrition – improves health in general, as it raises the immunity necessary to face seasonal diseases and those related to changes in the weather, and prevents health problems arising from long sitting at the desk or in front of the computer in unfriendly positions for the body that impose various changes to the muscles and skeletal in addition to To the functions of other organs and show negative results in the long run, which may cause disabilities or weaken the performance of the employee, for example, the increasing number of people suffering from lower back and spine problems and herniated discs. The active role of sports in contributing to the treatment of modern-day diseases arising from a sedentary lifestyle, such as obesity, vascular and heart diseases, high blood pressure, and osteoporosis, is well known.
Reduce anxiety and raise morale
Sports make a workday characterized by activity and fun. It improves mood, increases motivation for work and cooperation, raises morale, and on the other hand reduces stress levels and reduces psychological pressure. Exercising during working hours has a positive effect on work because it breaks the monotony and apathy and separates the employee completely from work concerns and pressures and the endless stream of meetings and e-mails. Sports is one of the means of releasing endorphins that provide the body with energy and vitality and reduce feelings of depression.
Entertainment and social interaction
Sports is one aspect of entertainment, and its incorporation into recreational social activities yields tangible returns on employee productivity and the productivity of the entire organization; It improves the relationship between employees at all levels and spreads a friendly atmosphere that goes beyond formal relationships and contributes to alleviating levels of psychological pressure and job burnout. Group sports activities create a sense of belonging to the employee and share goals and improve communication between people who would not have been able to communicate and work together at work; Which makes the employee proficient in cooperative work and assistance in accomplishing work and completing the required tasks, and even coming up with new ideas and ways of working that will improve job performance and then productivity.
Sharpening mental abilities and unleashing creativity
The mind burdened with thinking, deeds, and tasks get tired, tiring, rusts and its performance weakens, and by practicing sports activity, the mind is freed from these crippling loads, restores its energy, and renews its activity. There is a connection between the movement of the body and the movement of the mind as if the sport does not only exercise the muscles of the individual but also exercises his mind. He is sitting in the workplace, and also when you run out of good ideas at work or when you are unable to focus, you will find that a little jogging outside makes you come back more comfortable and ideas start flowing again.
Exercise and reduce sick leave
This benefit is an automatic consequence of the above; When the employee enjoys an appropriate physical fitness – at the very least – and high morale, leads a healthy lifestyle, and has good social relations in a positive work environment, this must have a positive impact on his job satisfaction; It helps him to bear the workload and may give the work additional hours of his time for love and dignity, and reduces absenteeism and requests for sick leave.
This is supported by the experience of General Motors, the car manufacturer, after implementing a sports and health program for one year, the result showed a significant reduction in accidents and diseases in 130 workplaces, and it had a positive impact on employee performance, and the company estimated that its profitability from investing in the program was three times higher times of project cost.
Repeated sick leave requests represent a burden on institutions and employers, and they strive to reduce and treat this phenomenon, whether it is a real disease or other reasons to avoid the cost and loss resulting from it. To prevent disease, many companies have realized the important and effective impact of physical exercise on the health of their employees and thus the productivity and profitability of the company. Therefore, it sought to adopt programs that enhance the health of employees and motivate them to exercise and make adjustments to the work environment that serves those programs and trends.
Directions and suggestions to encourage employees to exercise
1. Adopt and spread a healthy lifestyle culture in the organization: in order to create a society that believes in the importance of sport and its impact on productivity and its role in improving the quality of life, and this culture helps employees see that they need to start making changes related to their health, sports, and nutritional lifestyle and that Through a variety of means, including training courses, workshops, lectures and awareness messages that spread health and sports concepts and clarify the various ways and means to achieve this, or even provide a subscription to a gym, as some Saudi companies do through the OnePass application.
2. Making adjustments to the work environment to stimulate exercise: such as introducing flexible work schedules and hours, or allocating time to exercise during the workday and making exercise a regular part of it. The practice of sports activities by employees during the lunch break at work is a common practice in some Western countries, but the matter has gone beyond just stimulating sports to coercion. Kalmar Faten is the general water distributor and clothing brand named after former Swedish tennis star Bjorn Borg.
3. Providing the necessary resources for practicing sports within the institution, such as allocating a place for a gym equipped with the necessary tools and devices. The fitness centers have interacted with the companies’ interest in the health of their employees and their desire for them to practice sports, so they allocate workspaces inside them equipped with tables and seats that entice employees who work remotely to bring Their mobile devices and work in the middle of sports equipment to facilitate access to them and motivate their use, and with this modern and rising trend, we find that some emerging companies have taken fitness centers as their headquarters to benefit from their sports equipment and workspaces.
4. Encouraging employees to participate in sports clubs: by providing free subscriptions or discounts to clubs, gyms, and health centers, and these discounts may extend to the rest of the family in order to spread the sports lifestyle and consolidate it in the community.
5. Interest in the establishment of sports activities and events in the institution: by integrating them with recreational and social activities, or holding individual and group competitive sports competitions such as the walking day program, the running marathon and the challenge of climbing stairs, and setting incentives and rewards for that, and the establishment of a sports team for the company comes as a clear example of its support and encouragement for sports.
6. Encouraging the use of technology in the service of employee health: by taking advantage, for example, of wearable technology such as fitness watches that calculate daily effort and steps, and provide a pleasant stimulus to stand and move from time to time, or when sitting for a long time in a fixed position, and standing may seem from the chair or walking a few steps are simple movements, but in the long run and over time, they make a difference in the health and well-being of the employee.
Sports, health, and productivity are human values before they are financial or profit goals, and they bring many benefits and positive effects to the employee, his family, the organization, and the society, and now any company can increase the health of its employees with the subscription of OnePass, and surely a recovering employee is better than a dormant employee.
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