Going for the Gold…. or Green?

runners running on a burnt orange track

Written by Kaley Melville

You hear almost daily – “Time to get that body summer ready!” Or my personal favorite “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” – which, let’s be honest: is just a bold faced lie. Have you ever had a molten lava chocolate cake or Mellow Mushroom pizza and a cold beer after a long day at work? Yeah, nothing “feels” or tastes better than that. 

So why do we do it then? Or the better question, why should we workout and prioritize our physical fitness outside of the obvious reasons of being aesthetically pleasing to yourself or for the one you desire? As a professional athlete – going to the gym is necessary for so many things in my life outside of those I have listed above. Do I like it though? No. I hate it just as much as the next person, but I know that it is necessary for me to be successful in what I do. 

You may not be a professional athlete training for a gold medal, but what if you were training for the green? That’s right – money. Would you go to the gym if your place of work paid you to do so? Forbes may be onto something here.

Now, you won’t be handed a hundred dollar bill when you walk through the door, but TotalWellness is allowing their employees to exercise “on the clock” for 30 minutes each day. With over 80% of adults in the U.S. not meeting the guidelines for both aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities, TotalWellness saw it essential to be an enforcer of change. 

The biggest excuse we all use is “I don’t have time.” This concept takes that excuse and throws it right out the window. However, as a business owner, you have to be skeptical right? What is the ROI on this investment into your employees’ well-being? Let’s look at the math: (30 minutes of work X Hourly Pay rate X .5)  X (# of employees)*(5 days a week) = Are we sure this is a good idea?

Here is why and how those numbers can be justified.  With just 30 minutes of exercise a day, your employees will gain the following:

  1. Social connections – fostering healthy personal and professional relationships 
  2. Stress relief – stressed out employees have trouble focusing, thinking clearly, and making rational decisions. Exercise has been proven to improve mental health by decreasing cortisol levels and sweating releases endorphins that help you relax
  3. Heart health – Cardiovascular Disease the #1 killer of both men and women in the U.S and costing the country over $555 billion dollars a year can be reduced by simply exercising daily
  4. More energy – Exercise is one of the best ways to fight fatigue
  5. Weight management – Milken Institute estimates direct healthcare costs of over $480.7 billion with over $1.24 trillion lost in productivity! By exercising, weight management becomes easier and obesity can be battled.
  6. Productivity – Harvard has proven that there are more than just physical benefits to exercising, which include: enhanced creativity, quicker learning, sharper memory, and improved concentration 
  7. Disease prevention – an active lifestyle significantly lowers the risk of heart disease, chronic pains and arthritis, diabetes, and certain types of cancer
  8. Improved Immune Systems – regular exercise flushes out bacteria in the lungs and airways, reducing the risk of the common cold, flu, and other illnesses that keep your employees out of work

More importantly, by giving employees the time to workout and if you are able to provide them a place to do so, you as a company have proof that you want your workers to thrive beyond the workspace. In turn, this will foster trust and deeper relationships between employees and their supervisors. 

As an individual who has been a captain and a leader on every team that I have played on in my athletics career, working out together teaches people to hold others accountable. I can’t think of anything much better that could transfer over from the gym into the workplace than accountability when it comes to accomplishing things as a team. 

What do you think? Is this something that is feasible for your company? As an employee, is this something that you would take advantage of? 

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