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Article Details
Report on Corporate Wellness
2011-01-23 23:40:47

Demonstration worksite fitness programs in Canada and the U.S. suggested that they held a number of important advantages for the sponsoring corporation. Program participants usually claimed to feel better, with an increased personal productivity.

•recruited employees with a favorable attitude toward both work and health

•had a low rate of employee turnover among program participants

•experienced a small increase of productivity, and a small reduction in absenteeism

•noted a trend to lower health costs. Participants also enhanced their physical fitness, with a reduction in cardiac risk factors and, thus, their risk of health problems as they became older.

Corporate Wellness

An ACSM Report
In small companies, the exercise facility can often be shared with other neighboring corporations, and if this is not feasible, much valuable activity can be gained by simply installing showers and encouraging employees to walk or cycle to work.

Enlightened companies have sponsored sports teams and, in some instances, have provided sports fields at their worksites throughout much of the twentieth century. Such initiatives were viewed mainly as a method of building a team spirit and increasing employee morale. However, the proportion of employees who were actively involved in worksite sports teams was relatively small. Brief calisthenic breaks for all employees were introduced at some European worksites as early as the 1960s, and it was claimed that such programs enhanced the performance of both physical and mental well-being. In the mid-1970s, the Canadian government launched a similar plan, providing taped music and written instructions to volunteer exercise leaders in many large office buildings.

Unfortunately, the concept that an entire working group could cease operations for 7-8 minutes of exercises twice each work day did not fit well with many modern industrial and business operations.
Nevertheless, the interest of the U.S. and Canadian governments in the promotion of health-related fitness developed rapidly during the 1970s. Government agencies still perceived the worksite as a favorable location for program delivery. Suggested advantages relative to community-based fitness programming included a discreet population of manageable size, with established channels of administration and communication, a strong potential for the recruitment of volunteer assistant exercise leaders, and peer support of those who were beginning fitness programs for the first time.

Moreover, the introduction of a fitness program was seen as an important first step in the development of a healthy overall working environment ranging from a wise choice of canteen foods to a smoke-free worksite. Above all, no travel time was needed in order to attend a worksite fitness program, so that the usual excuse of the sedentary person (lack of time) was overcome.

Source: ACSM

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