If you haven’t yet heard the news about what regular exercise can do for your office staff, here are the basics: Regular exercise can increase morale, keep health care costs down, reduce employee turnover and cut down on missed work days.
And perhaps most importantly for the day-to-day operations of the business, exercise makes workers more productive.
Whether you’re talking about cardiovascular exercise such as walking, or resistance exercises such as weight training, the extra activity is thought to increase blood flow, which in turn increases brain function, and that’s a win-win for you and your workplace.
So how to get people to start exercising, or if they’re already doing so, to step up their games? One option is to hire a personal trainer or group exercise instructor for the workplace. A personal or group trainer will help keep people accountable for their activities, will help to motivate people when they start to falter, and perhaps most importantly, will help employees learn how to exercise safely to avoid injury or chronic pain.
If you’re convinced that hiring trainer is right for your office, here are some things to keep in mind as you’re looking for one.
Ensure that they’re certified. A trainer who’s certified through the American Council on Exercise, the American College of Sports Medicine or another governing organization will have had to pass an exam certifying that they have a degree of fitness knowledge and expertise. What’s more, they’ll likely have liability insurance that covers them working with clients. Of course, it’s also important to talk to your insurance company about your liability as a company, especially if you plan to do workouts onsite.
Look for someone with experience with multiple levels. While all certified trainers will have been trained to work with special populations, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ve worked extensively with those populations. Even in a small company, there’s a good chance you have employees with joint or mobility issues or chronic conditions that need special attention and special programming. Ideally, you’ll find someone who’s comfortable working with people new to exercise, as well as people who are more advanced or who have chronic issues.
Trust that the time won’t be wasted. You might be worried about allowing your workers time off from work to get in a workout, but you shouldn’t be. Numerous studies have shown that regular exercise actually makes people more productive. In one Swedish study, researchers found that workers who missed work for exercise were still as productive as a control group who didn’t exercise.
Take goal setting to a new level. When your staff begins to work with a trainer, that trainer will likely get each person to set specific goals for their workouts. Since goals are a key to success in nearly any aspect in life, this might also be a good time to have your staff set workplace goals as well. Talk to the trainer to discuss how she handles goal setting, and then use that information to combine her methods with any methods already in place at the office. You might even ask workers to share their workplace and fitness goals during a group meeting, to help inspire one another to achieve more.
It might take you a time or two to find the trainer who works well with the majority of your staff, but once you have that good fit found, you can look forward to a healthier workforce that gets stuff done more efficiently and with a brighter attitude.
Image, "Group Personal Training at a Gym" by www.localfitness.com.au