Hard labor no longer means heading down the mines. For most of us it means eight hours in front of a computer.
We’ve swapped the risks of mine collapse, third degree burns, and the other injuries that blighted heavy industry, for RSI and, perhaps the most dangerous of all, a totally sedentary working life. We all know, even if we don’t do it ourselves, that physical activity improves our health, lowers stress levels, and increases energy. For business, the benefit of physically active employees is clear – inactive workers take 27 percent more sick leave than active colleagues As the Economist Intelligence Unit noted recently, companies that encourage physical activity and work with employees to improve their health, create a motivated, productive workforce. Wellness programs, as these schemes are known, can result in
- 20 percent more revenue per employee
- More than 16 percent higher market value
- 57 percent higher shareholder returns.
Wellness programs can take many forms. The Financial Times has reviewed different types and the value they bring to companies. Not all schemes involve tracksuits and sneakers; Philips has developed DirectLife, an approach to fitness that focuses on making everyday life more active, rather than expecting people to have dedicated times at which they work out, play sports or exercise. It shows new opportunities to be active and proves that small spurts of activity add up to a substantial more active, fitter life.
DirectLife combines a pocket monitor that measures a person’s physical activity levels with advice and encouragement from a personal coach. At the end of each day, data from the monitor is sent to a personalized website that tracks your activity against a daily target calculated from your first week’s results. In addition to the coach’s advice, participants get weekly progress emails and instant daily feedback from the monitor. Over the 12-week program, the target is increased to challenge people to be more active.
Ten DirectLife tips for office activity.
- 1. Pit yourself against colleagues and have stair races
- 2. Invite a colleague to join you for a walk after lunch
- 3. Install a new printer further away from your workspace
- 4. Instead of emailing or phoning, walk over to your colleagues and speak to them face-to-face
- 5. Invite a colleague for a cup of tea or coffee and walk around while drinking and chatting
- 6. Keep moving – take a break, walk around for a couple of minutes, stretch, take a few deep breaths
- 7. Tidy your desk and empty the trash can outside
- 8. Get a wireless headset for your phone and move around while making calls
- 9. Park your car at the far end of the car park
- 10. Get off the bus, metro or tram a few stops earlier than usual and walk the remaining distance
DirectLifecombines state-of-the-art activity monitoring with personal feedback and support to help people become more active.
Source : DirectLife