If you are an employer, you might be thinking 'yeah, well we offer our employees a discount at *insert big commercial gym name here*'. But when you take into consideration that approx 50% of gym members do not even use their membership and those who do, do not have much of an idea about what they are doing there anyway, perhaps there is a better solution? The gym is not for everyone.
From a purely financial perspective, it makes good business sense to invest in employee health and wellbeing. Productivity will increase as a result of having employees with more energy and there will be a reduction in sick days, you have already made your money back and you will get a happier workforce!
There is a decision process that we go through before we reach the stage of actually improving our health and fitness, a good coach will be able to identify an individual's stage of change and therefore help them in the appropriate way.
Marketing works in a similar way, you can't go straight in with the sale. First, you need to demonstrate that you know what you are talking about and the benefits of your product before you sell. You can throw a discounted gym membership at someone, but if they do not see the value in improving their fitness and nutrition, then you might as well be pissing in the wind!
A good coach will not just preach to someone or give too much advice, until it is asked for. I never tell someone what is good or bad for them, unless they are genuinely confused about something. Coaching is about providing awareness and working with the person, not lecturing them on eating to many cookies! We all know that's not good!
Here are four ways a coach can improve your employee's effectiveness.
1. Better nutrition.
Most of us have a basic idea of what we need to do to improve our nutrition, but some of us are often clueless. A coach can help your employees make good decisions about what they eat on a daily basis. Office cakes and sweets are a popular way of raising morale in the office. But they wreak havoc on attempts at maintaining a healthy diet, if someone puts a cake in front of my nose while I am at work... I am going to destroy it and I am a fitness and nutrition coach! The standard sugary office treats, screw with our blood sugar and consequently our energy levels, leaving people drooling over their keyboard and scanning the horizon for the next piece of cake rather than doing their job. It also messes with people's moods, causing tempers to fray and productivity to decrease. Improving nutrition is also a sure way of improving the immune system, meaning fewer sniffles in the office, which could disable the rest of the team.
2. Better Fitness and energy levels
We all know that improving fitness is going to help your employees health and energy levels, all that means improved productivity at work. Take a look at some really big successful companies like google and apple; they look after their employees well being, because they know their employees are critical to their success. They also need to attract and keep the top people.
3. Encourage good posture
Walk into an average office setting, and I guarantee that around 80% of people in there will have some type of pain in their body. In 2013 the Office of National Statistics (ONS) reported that 131 million days were lost due to sickness absences in the UK, more days lost to back, neck and muscle pain than any other cause!
Office work is generally sedentary, meaning that your typical office worker sits down for eight hours a day... in the same position. There are more and more warnings about the effects of being sedentary with headlines like 'Sitting is the new smoking'. I think that many of us laugh this off, how can smoking be as bad as sitting? Smoking smells bad (to most people) and affects others around you. Can sitting really be as bad as dumping a load of chemicals into your lungs?
Well, actually yes it is and if you have employees who sit all day and smoke, then it might be a good idea that they get their shit together! What happens when you lose a critical employee of 10 years to sickness? Where does that leave you?
It is my opinion that people who have to sit all day in their job should have conducted a risk assessment. If there is no way around sitting, then they should be provided with the support to minimise the damage caused by sitting for long periods.
Have you ever noticed when something important happens you stand? If you are making an important phone call, you stand, standing up improves blood flow to the brain and enables you to think more clearly. Hmm imagine what happens when you sit all day, the opposite- right!?
Ask any physiotherapist and they will tell you that the body was simply not designed for sitting. One of the most powerful muscles in the body, the Gluteus Maximus (your butt) gets squashed all day. Because it is being sat on it also relaxes, so when it is needed (for walking or stabilising the hips) it is no longer active. The body finds other muscles to use, mainly in the lower back, which are weaker and fatigue quickly. Surprising why so many of us suffer from back pain then?
4. Improve mental health and well-being
Mental health problems such as stress, depression and anxiety also contributed to a significant number of sick days off work. Having a coach can help elevate stress as it is someone to talk to who is focused on your wellbeing. A by-product of improving fitness will also be a reduction in stress and other mental health problems.
In the same study by the ONS it was noted that those who are self-employed, managers, directors or senior officials are less likely than employees to have a spell of sickness. This is likely because they came to work anyway as they are more dedicated to the business than a typical employee who will take the day off as soon as a shoulder or a headache becomes too painful. It is my opinion that this highlights that senior management can often be out of touch with how important the health of their employees is, if they do not take a day off for a headache then why should an employee?
I think of fitness as a holistic look at mental and physical health; it is not just about getting to the gym and lifting weights!
There is plenty of research that consistently show the health benefits of improving fitness and nutrition. From my own personal experience, I know that keeping of top of my own fitness and nutrition improves they way I feel and how productive I am. Hence my tagline 'Master your fitness.. master your life'
Online personal coaching is a cost effective way of supporting your employee's health and fitness. It enables them to have access to their coach anywhere in the world. Meaning they can train at any time or place that suits them. They also receive more face time with their coach than they would from any personal trainer in a gym, which means more time focusing on the important aspects of nutrition, mental well-being and posture. Form and exercise technique can be analysed through videos if necessary and feedback provided to ensure that they stay safe while training.
To find out more about how we can help your business become more efficient and boost your employee's productivity and well-being. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To get a taste of what online training looks like take a look at my Fat Loss Mastery guide.