Men and women at the office working at a computer

Office gyms are currently a bit of a rare occurrence.

The thing is, this might be the reality - but should it be?

With so many of our job types centred around a computer, we’re becoming more and more inactive. As well as prone to all the problems that inactivity can bring with it. Problems such as:

  • Back injuries
  • Stress
  • Weight gain
  • Diabetes
  • Heart problems

And being sat at a screen all day can also trigger or worsen mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.

So, by being inactive, we’re not only putting our overall wellbeing at risk, but we’re also contributing to work absenteeism.

According to Government figures, 1.3 million workers in the UK suffered from work-related ill-health in 2016/17. This is equal to 25.7 million working days being lost from potentially, preventable causes.

And it’s not just employees who are feeling the consequences. UK businesses are also bearing the brunt to cover the loss and it’s costing them around £32 billion a year to do it.

So, where do gyms come into all of this?

First, let’s look at what benefits regular physical activity can bring.

How can exercise benefit you?

Woman working out with a kettlebell

In the UK, one in four people are physically inactive which is having a big impact on our health.

By doing regular exercise however, we can prevent so many problems that are often caused by, or are related to, having an inactive lifestyle.

The NHS describes doing regular exercise as “essential” for living a healthy and fulfilling life.

It also reports that regular exercise is proven to lower your risk of:

  • Coronary heart disease and having a stroke by up to 35%
  • Type 2 Diabetes by up to 50%
  • Colon cancer by up to 50%
  • Breast cancer by up to 20%
  • Risk of early death by 30%

Exercise also helps with lots of other lifestyle factors such as boosting your mood, self-esteem and quality of sleep, as well as reduce stress and risk of depression, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

So, with all these benefits up for grabs, why aren’t we all doing more exercise?

For most of it, modern-day lifestyles just don’t require us to move around that much. Sitting at a computer, driving a car and watching TV are all sedentary activities. So, exercise doesn’t naturally enter our lives unless we make a conscious effort to do it.

Also, many people simply don’t have the time because they work a lot or because they have children. So, it can be difficult to squeeze in at the beginning or end of a long day when you’re tired.

The key lies in finding ways to exercise that fits in with our lifestyles, so that we can have the best of both worlds.

How a workplace gym can help

Man resting after working out with a kettlebell

Having a gym at work can benefit you and/or your employees tenfold.

Not only will it bring some of the much-needed benefits mentioned above, but it can also have a knock-on effect on staff when they’re at work too:

  • Motivation – doing exercise can help give you energy so that you feel more motivated to get things done. So, it can really help with general output, as well as overall wellness.
  • Reduced stress – not only does exercise help you to burn off any stress, but it also releases endorphins which are great for boosting your mood.
  • Team building – working out together as a team can really help build relationships. It gives everyone a chance to see each other on a more informal setting as well as share tips on how to improve.
  • Employee retention – being able to fit exercise in and around working hours more easily is a really big incentive. Not only that, but when people feel happy at work, they’re much more likely to stay. Reduced time off – regular exercise helps to boost your immune system so can prevent employees from taking time off.
  • Better sleep – exercise is proven to help improve quality of sleep. And getting a better night’s rest, allows you to be more productive and alert during the day, which also helps you make fewer mistakes.

Ultimately, it pays to care for your employees. Because when you look after them, they’ll look after your business.

And when you compare the cost of setting up a gym to some of the eye-watering amounts it can cost companies to cover sick pay and time off work, it just makes sense – for the business and their employees.

Want to know how you go about setting up a workplace gym? Find out how the guys at Specialized did it and why they chose Mirafit gear to kit out their gym.