If employers want to prevent absence, enhance productivity, and keep job satisfaction levels high across the board, regular movement breaks away from the desk, must become accepted corporate culture and ingrained into the very DNA of every business
Employers have to work harder to educate their employees on the importance of their personal health and help them understand how sedentary behaviour in the workplace impacts upon this, regardless of physical activity levels.
Traditionally, providing a one size fits all, fitness focused, corporate wellness benefit, usually limited to pre and post work and lunchtimes, was considered enough of a ‘box tick’. However, even a once daily bout of vigorous physical activity is not enough to offset the effects of prolonged sitting, day in day out. In addition, only a very small population within every workplace will engage with such an offering.
Around 15% of every workforce are what we call the ‘fit & focussed’. They are personally motivated and are already engaged in healthy behaviours. However, this population often disregard the risks associated with extended periods of sitting, thinking that their gym workout or walking to work each day makes them immune. It does not.
At least 70% of employees, the ‘health seekers’, who are aware that they could do with being healthier, but who aren’t engaging with traditional fitness offerings on hand for them, are at higher risk. To the 70%, becoming fit may be an aspiration, but not front of mind right now. Therefore, there is usually a mismatch with the offerings to this group.
Employers are in a unique position to influence their employees at an age when interventions can still change their long-term health trajectory, benefiting both the employer and employee over time. But the offering needs to change. Fundamentally, fitness is a nice-to-have, but good health is essential. In order to offer a route to personal health improvement to all employees which is relevant, accessible and effective, the entry level of engagement must be health as opposed to fitness. This way, a health initiative becomes the first steppingstone
to the health seeker and a solid foundation to the fit and focussed.
PHS have applied the knowledge gathered from many years of experience operating with Power Plate® technology in the elite sports performance, fitness and medical industries, and combined it with expertise in engagement and adherence to activity and health programmes to create an innovative and effective, health based, corporate wellness solution that is accessible and relevant to 100% of employees, delivering instant and prolonged results. This solution is FitStop.
FitStop is an out-of-the-gym solution allowing employees to take part in a quick series of movements on Power Plate, which will revitalise them during the workday and reverse the negative effects of sedentary behaviour. Designed to be located on the office floor, near a vending machine or a water cooler, employees can complete a FitStop while waiting for their coffee to brew or their photocopies to complete. Key to the strength of the solution is the very latest Power Plate. Its built-in touch screen monitor provides easy-to-follow video demonstrations and coaching for the employee to follow, while the privacy pod supplied allows employees to complete their programme discreetly.
Employees are recommended to take two short FitStop breaks per day in regular work clothes, minimising time away from the desk, but maximising the impact on their health. Each three minute programme is designed to either relax or energise the employee, allowing them to return to the desk refreshed. The movements and stretches contained in each programme target critical body parts that are typically compromised by prolonged sitting. FitStop programmes will; release tension in the muscles, promote better posture, reduce back pain, relieve tiredness, reduce stress and improve circulation.
Health education is delivered to employees ahead of a programme launch to drive engagement, while the FitStop app provides session reminders, continued education, usage tracking, team games, buddy support and rewards to the employee, to ensure retention into the programme and long term behaviour change.
Technology with a focus and pedigree like this is ultimately the future for workplace wellbeing. Solutions need to, of course, feel relevant to all employees going forward, and fix a specific problem in order for them to take an interest in the first place, but must also be flexible to the extent that they feel almost bespoke to the individual, rather than being limiting and prescriptive allowing them to engage on their terms.