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Building workplace community with digital fitness

Digital fitness is a crucial tool for fostering community within an organization while promoting healthier habits and improving productivity. The positive influence of personalized digital fitness programs on mental health and wellbeing makes it a powerful tool for employers to utilize. Here’s how it works.

Physical activity and presenteeism

On an average day, office workers spend up to 11 hours sitting down. Sitting makes up approximately 70% of their 8-hour work day and sedentary behavior often continues in leisure time too. The Covid-19 pandemic and its associated restrictions have seen a further rise in sedentary behavior, made worse by reduced social contact and limited options for physical activity.

Research suggests that employees with unhealthy lifestyle behaviors such as low levels of physical activity, longer amounts of sitting time before and after work and poor sleep quality are associated with higher rates of presenteeism. Costs from presenteeism account for between 18-60% of total dollars lost due to health conditions in the workforce, making this a key issue for employers.

Utilizing digital fitness to improve employee health

Employee activity levels can have a significant impact on mental health outcomes and workplace performance. Findings show that employees engaging in 2 or more days of muscle-strengthening physical activity each week were more likely to have zero work limitations like presenteeism compared to their more sedentary colleagues.

Individually tailored physical exercise programs were also found to generate close to a 30% reduction in absenteeism, as well as a 9% increase in general health scores. This demonstrates the power of personalized wellness solutions for generating meaningful change in an organization.

At the same time, mental health outcomes improve when employees engage in physical exercise programs, along with nutritional coaching. A study of UCLA employees found that just three cardio and strength training workouts per week over a 12-week period resulted in a range of positive effects across the board, including:

  • Reduced stress
  • Better concentration abilities
  • Improved satisfaction with social roles
  • Increased energy
  • Better self-efficacy
  • Improved quality of life

Personalized workplace wellness programs focused on physical exercise can be significant for stress-management and employee mental health and wellbeing, helping to significantly improve workplace productivity.

The power of community building

As well as increasing employee activity levels, digital fitness platforms also provide a unique opportunity to bring individuals together in a cohesive, inclusive online community. By setting personalized fitness goals and encouraging employees to share their achievements online, it is possible to build a supportive community space.

Research demonstrates that digital fitness platforms focused on community and social sharing motivated users more effectively than those focusing solely on fun. Participants using a community-based fitness app showed significantly better performance by the end of the trial compared with those from the other study group with participants walking an average of 4,000 more steps per day. The community app users also showed higher motivation to continue exercising with the app after the trial.

Digital fitness programs that center on both individual goals and community building make a meaningful difference to the health and wellbeing of employees, and the productivity of organizations. Investing in a comprehensive wellbeing solution like LifeWorks - with individual and group challenges, as well as LIFT session fitness for individuals and groups - is a great way for organizations to realize this return. They make working out exciting, easy and accessible, all while bringing teams together in a positive, productive way.

Take steps to create an inclusive workplace community today

There is growing evidence that lifestyle factors, including physical exercise and social connectedness, play a critical role in the management of mental health and wellness. To improve workplace wellbeing, organizations should utilize personalized digital fitness tools to help build an inclusive, supportive community that celebrates individual achievements and encourages connectedness in their workforce.

To find out more about LifeWorks’ digital fitness solutions, contact us today.

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