27 October 2006

Keep your workforce healthy

Investing in the health and happiness of your staff may save your company both time and money.

Investing in the health and happiness of your staff may save you both time and money, says a statement from Planet Fitness.

“If I were to rank my company assets in order of importance I would have to put my staff first,” says Manny Rivera, CEO of Planet Fitness. “Without healthy staff your company is going to suffer in terms of productivity as well as financially.”

Planet Fitness' most recent report found that poor health and injury account for nearly 60% of all lost work hours. South Africa loses up to R10 billion per annum as a result of absenteeism.

Managing Director of Planet Fitness, Mannee De Wet, says that wellness assessments conducted at companies usually show that poor nutrition and low physical activity are amongst employees’ most prevalent health concerns.

Investment is worth it
De Wet cites results of a recent study conducted by Cornell University in the United States which found that a company’s investment in health and fitness facilities and programmes paid for itself within 10 years through reduced medical aid costs alone.

“With companies investing small fortunes in developing their executives to deliver maximum value, it makes sense to ensure they observe healthy lifestyles,” says de Wet.

"It is for this reason that corporations have begun to look at ways in which to keep staff healthy and happy at work as they recognise that fit employees are more productive. They are embracing their more active roles by promoting the wellness of their staff in the workplace as good health is acknowledged as a real investment," the statement said.

Exercise counters lethargy
According to Planet Fitness, research confirms that regular exercise counteracts feelings of lethargy and anxiety, by being an outlet for negative emotions, and resting the nerve cells in the brain, which are responsible for worrying. Working out also brings down high blood pressure, increases blood circulation to the brain and other vital organs, reduces the risk of a stroke and certain cancers, helps prevent type 2 diabetes, boosts the immune system and aids sleep.

Endorphins or “happy hormones”, generated by regular exercise, promote a positive mental attitude toward work and life in general, and reduce stress levels. In other words, as an employee gains a greater sense of personal and physical well being, he or she is more likely to transfer that attitude to their work.

“Employees are generally expected to achieve their companies’ goals, when they seldom live up to their own personal aspirations. The bottom line means unlocking your employees’ personal potential and well-being and witness how effectively company objectives are met,” says de Wet.

"Chances are that forward-thinking employers will be repaid handsomely for their initiative: not only will they have a more energetic and motivated workforce, but American data suggests the cumulative benefit is estimated at R3 000 to R4 000 per worker per year, in terms of enhanced productivity, medical savings and so on," the statement said. – (Planet Fitness)

Source: Press release from Planet Fitness

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October 2006


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