NewsEncouraging a Physically Active Workplace Culture

Encouraging a Physically Active Workplace Culture

The benefits of healthy living go far beyond a fit body, which is why Opinno held a company breakfast to discuss the movement towards living healthier, more sustainable, and wholesome lives.

We invited two fitness experts and personal trainers, Adrian Nuñez Navas and Javier García, to shed their physical education insights on Opinno’s employees, focusing on how to improve physical health through exercise.

The personal trainers shared data from the World Health Organization that struck a chord with Opinno employees. The data suggested that the average person between the ages of 18 to 64 should participate in 150 hours of physical exercise a week. It was emphasized during the talk that, globally, 31% of the world population over the age of 15 was considered insufficiently active as of 2008. These studies suggested that women were particularly inactive in comparison to men. Though these statistics suggest inactivity, wellness and healthy living have become a megatrend due to increased health awareness around the globe.

Cultivating an Active Work Culture

Office life equates to a more sedentary lifestyle, meaning out-of-the-box efforts need to be made to boost physical activity. Navas and García gave suggestions to encourage a more active lifestyle in the office. Rather than using a traditional office chair, the specialists recommended investing in an exercise ball to stimulate muscle activation, which improves core strength. Exercise balls have proven to improve posture and balance, and have transformed office cultures around the globe.

Some offices in the design and architecture fields have followed the trend towards standing offices, though studies suggest too much standing is counterproductive. Standing desks have quite an adjustment period, but benefit your health by increasing your metabolism and decreasing your risk of heart disease. Further, standing desks have, like exercise balls, shown to improve posture and decrease back pain.

The beauty of an office in the center of sunny Madrid is that it is common to use public modes of transportation to commute to and from work, which implies employees are engaging in physical activity as they walk to the metro or bus. The fitness experts suggested taking it even a step further, by walking or biking to work a couple of days a week, should it be logistically possible. 

Naturally active people tend to take on physical exercise out of sheer desire by registering for marathons or sticking to their gym memberships, but what about those that aren’t naturally drawn to the athletic lifestyle? Communal workouts have grown in popularity in recent years due to the reality that we feel a sense of accountability in workout groups. Additionally, physical exercise with friends places value on fun, rather than feeling like a dreaded chore. Communal and considerably fun workout classes and team sports can take form through yoga classes, kickball teams, and group runs.  

Navas and García emphasized the benefits of healthy competition, and suggested that company workout competitions and company physical activity goals could be beneficial in encouraging an active workforce. For example, should the Opinno team collectively walk 100,000 steps by the end of one week, the employees could reap the benefit a company lunch. Communal activity and healthy competition also creates a sense of comradery between the workforce, which establishes a more unified company culture.

Benefits of Healthy Living

Unsurprisingly, physical exercise reduces your long-term risk of certain diseases and of obesity, but research suggests it can also help you in the short term. A study by Mayo Clinic revealed that physical exercise improves mood and boosts energy. Navas and García enlightened our team on the reality that a physically active workplace implies a more productive, cohesive, and collaborative workforce.