by Othon Molina, Ph.D.c
Since jogging, spas and Starbucks hit the business arena, business has been running to change. Just as important as physical fitness and body/health awareness is the mental balance needed to be clear and centered, which also comes from physical health. “In life as well as in business, clarity leads to power.” (Marshall Thurber)
Everybody is getting into fitness. Successful corporations are offering employee memberships to health clubs or in-house fitness programs. They recognize one important factor: healthy people are more productive, and miss less work. Major insurance companies give discounts to non-smokers and to companies with fitness programs. Fit people are a great asset to these companies; saving them millions of dollars a year by turning the tide on absenteeism, low production and low-energy output due to poor health. People are our greatest asset and we need to invest more in their health. We need to take care of them.
The stress at the top takes its toll and can affect the whole company. Overworking, drinking, smoking, overeating and inactivity are becoming old scenes in many executives’ lives. All of these were more common in our fathers’ business days when martini or scotch and water lunches and business meetings were more common. In our father’s business days when they got a lot of exercise by just working as many jobs where more physical. It’s true, the work day does take energy, but it takes more of a negative toll on the body. Stress is also cumulative and no one is immune to it. To dissipate the damaging effects of stress on the body and mind, exercise, proper fitness and good sound nutrition are essential to deal with modern stress.
In the past, physical labor kept people in good shape and the mental pressures were not as demanding. With modern equipment and computers most people are less active and too mentally tired at the end of the day to complete a physical workout on their own. This is why many corporations and medium-sized businesses are making a large investment in their people by making fitness programs available to their staff. Keeping workers healthy yields high returns in increased production, less absenteeism and higher morale. The most important aspect of a corporate fitness program is that it must start at the management level. For best results, each program should be tailored to a specific company and measured and assessed for its effectiveness.
These programs need a commitment of at least ten to twelve weeks to see any measurable results. When a company can give an employee a program for the year, or the individual can participate in a six month group plan, the results are more quantifiable. After that, most people want to continue on their own because they can feel the difference good health makes in their daily life. You just have more energy and feel better.
The most successful programs include these ingredients: low or no-cost to the employee, part of it on company time (even 30 minutes, 3 times a week), employees’ input in creating it and incorporation into their lifestyle. Fitness is and can be fun…and has proven to be profitable as well.
Today, businesses spend millions of dollars to decrease waste and increase productivity, in order to compete in the world market. Simple and complete health programs for employees are one of the best investments a business can make. This goes hand in hand with quality programs, taken to their highest level. Quality improvement or TQM that Deming started, has been humanized to increase the team concept. The team is essential for success, and health is a fundamental component for a successful team.
For any questions please call:
Othon Molina Ph.D. c LMT