#HR Trends and Insights

Mental health in the workplace: How exercise can play a role

October 11, 2022

Regular exercise helps improve by reducing anxiety and depression and improving self-esteem and cognitive function. Exercise has also been found to help with issues like low self-esteem and social withdrawal.

Exercise gives us the benefit of added energy, allowing us to exert ourselves more physically. But, it also means more energy for the brain, boosting mental output.

So how do you get your moving? Here are some ideas.

Start a running club

Running is a great way to boost energy and put the bounce back in everyone’s step. Start a running club to gear up for the next marathon in town – maybe even partner with a charity to raise money. Or make it recreational and do trail runs as a group through local parks. Either way, encouraging employees to lace up will positively affect their mood and performance.

Introduce yoga

Yoga doesn’t just benefit the physical health of your employees; it also helps your workplace in many ways. It improves energy levels, boosts concentration, reduces stress, and increases creativity making your employees more productive in their work.

Many companies now recognize the power of yoga. They are starting to offer yoga classes as part of their corporate programs. Notable companies include Forbes, Apple, Google, Chase Manhattan Bank, HBO, and Nike, to name a few.

Offer rewards

Offering incentives and rewards to employees can encourage a healthier and reduce stress.

One of the best ways to incentivize your team members to reach specific fitness and wellness goals is by offering rewards. This could range from gift cards to local gyms or yoga studios, exercise equipment, time off, or other monetary compensation.

Encourage going car free

Biking is an excellent way to incorporate fun and fitness into your daily routine.

Health guidelines recommend about two hours of moderate activity each week to combat stress, so biking a 25–to-30-minute commute a few times a week will help employees hit this goal.

Biking also helps lower blood pressure and boost energy. Outdoor exercise also improves your mood by releasing endorphins and stimulating neurotransmitters, the signals that control emotional response.

Use benefits

Employees who opt for alternative transportation tend to enjoy increased productivity and job satisfaction. Offering a commuter benefits package can ultimately reduce employee stress levels by eliminating the “rush hour” angst and providing some financial relief.

Commuter benefits allow employees to use pre-tax dollars towards commuting costs like public , rideshares, and qualified parking expenses.

Exercise and mental health go hand in hand. To ensure you’re offering your employees the best ways to stay on the top of their game, schedule a meeting with one of our experts today.

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