I went to lunch with some friends last week and a friend asked about studies or studies showing that a company training program can benefit its employees. I remembered a couple of articles I read a few years ago that showed that there were some studies by companies with fitness programs and the results of their efforts. It seems that a company with only four employees can show advantages for a large corporation in a number of ways.
Some of this information may be a little out of date as the articles are almost 10 years old. But I can imagine the results today will be the same as they were 10 years ago. A few examples from company studies have shown that exercise or fitness programs not only help employees, but also bring financial benefits to the company. Northern Gas offered employees a fitness program and found that the employee who took the program had 80% fewer sick days. General Electric’s aircraft division found that medical claims for enrolled fitness workers decreased by 27% when they offered a fitness program. In contrast, those who did not use the fitness program saw their medical claims increase by 17%. Coca-Cola found that employees in their fitness program saved the company about $ 500 per employee on health claims. That is a significant financial gain for a company.
If a company can count on 80% fewer lost days, a 27% decrease in medical claims, and $ 500 savings in health programs for members of fitness programs, that means significant savings. All in all, the “boss” earns money by offering fitness programs. While the initial cost of adding fitness equipment and potentially taking time out for a lunchtime run paid off, the investment paid off.
Another area that seemed to benefit fitness staff and runners in the company was reducing stress. Two factors that prove to be detrimental to a company’s well-being appear to be a decrease in work ability due to stress and inactivity. There is a whole body of research that suggests that inactivity and stress lead to diseases such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and other autoimmune diseases. All of these complaints lead to a decrease in the workability of an employee.
In a study, employees were asked three questions: 1) How did they interact with their colleagues? 2) How well did you manage your time? 3) Did you meet your deadlines? Of those who exercised, 65% said they felt better on training days. On a personal level, I’ve always had good results in solving problems or reducing a stressful situation by running or lifting weights for a workout. It seems that a solution was easier to find during the practice battle.
While fitness benefits a company both health and financial, the same results have been shown by students at school. An example reported in the book “Spark” by John Ratey, MD reports the results from students in Naperville, Illinois. The school has a “zero hour” of exercise before classes begin for the eighth graders. The students signed up for an international test in math and science. The test is carried out on 230,000 students in 38 countries. The Naperville students took first place in science and sixth in math. In the math test they were behind Singapore, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Japan. Overall, students in the United States ranked 18th in science and 19th in math.
Another example of fitness level and academic rank comes from a study in California. Among the 279,000 ninth graders in California, those who passed six points on the fitness test finished in 67th grade.
The one interesting statistic that has emerged from the various studies is that for corporate fitness it appears that if the employee only exercises 15 minutes a day, benefits have been achieved. For the students, fitness was a combination of games, running and exercise. Fitness wasn’t always a struggle, it was fun too.
It appears that running or going to the gym for benefits other than health.