Our new company gym

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Every year, I make the same New Year Resolution “to get fitter” yet every year there is some reason for this not happening!

  • I don’t have the time
  • I’m too tired
  • I can’t afford gym subscriptions
  • I don’t like to exercise alone
  • I’m too unfit to exercise
  • I don’t want to attend a gym with strangers

These are just a few of the numerous excuses that I, and many others, use to avoid exercise, yet exercise has a multitude of benefits to our physical health, our mental health, our skin and our brain. It makes us feel happier and helps us to sleep better; the list is endless. So why should my New Year Resolution be any different this year?

Our new company gym

This week sees the opening of our new company gym. Our gym will be open prior to work, after work and during working hours. It’ll be free for all employees to use and there will be scheduled ladies or gents only sessions eradicating many of the excuses we use on a daily basis to avoid exercise. Personally, I am looking to improve my physical fitness and shed a few of the Christmas pounds before summer and the company gym gives me the opportunity to do that in a way that fits in with my life.

Our chairman is an avid gym member and knows first-hand the benefits of regular exercise and, as a company, the board are pleased to be able to offer this facility to all of their employees to help them take charge of their wellbeing. As the Director of Finance & Human Resources and both a physical and mental health First Aider, I am excited to promote both the individual and company benefits of the new gym. For example:

Improved Health

The NHS advise us that regular exercise can reduce our risk of major illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, cancer and lower a person’s risk of early death. Mental Health experts state that regular exercise can relieve stress, it is a natural anti-anxiety treatment and can treat some levels of depression as effectively as medication. Not only that but exercise can simply be a distraction from a person’s everyday life offering an individual the “me time” that we all require. The individual benefits in this area speak for themselves and these benefits can only have a positive impact on our company. A healthier and happier workforce will bring with it a reduction in absenteeism and a more productive workforce.

Reduced Stress

Science has proven that working 9 to 5, five days a week causes stress, particularly for those in a high-pressure business environment and many of us now live a non-stop lifestyle which only increases our stress levels. Exercise increases your heart rate and improves blood flow which in turn releases stress. During exercise your body also releases chemicals called endorphins which trigger a positive feeling in the body. Feeling less stressed and more positive is something I’m sure we could all benefit from at times and I’m in no doubt that a less stressed employee can only have a positive effect in the workplace.

Improved morale and team building

An onsite gym enables different departments and employees to meet ‘outside of the job’ and creates an environment where different relationships can be formed and built upon. These relationships then help with the interaction between employees and can only improve workflow. As a company, we’ve seen first-hand the benefits of team building activities and look forward to continual improved relationships as a result of the company gym which will also contribute towards a friendlier and happier work environment for all.

Attract & retain staff

For potential new recruits, having to decide between two job offers, an onsite gym could be the deciding factor and will be seen by many as a worthwhile company benefit. With regards to staff retention, whilst an employee is not going to remain in their job just because the company has a gym, an employee who is partaking in regular exercise, potentially performing better and working in a positive workplace as a result is less likely to leave their job.

These are just a few of the benefits of a company gym and we hope each and every employee can gain something from our new facility.

Kirsty Gates

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