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GUEST POST: SIOBHAN BYRNE - MAKING TIME FOR FITNESS

One key point many employees complain about is that many working parents do not have the time to workout due to family commitments. Many working parents finish work and head straight home or collect the kids from crèche and are on parent duty until late, which means they can not get out to exercise.

In order to help staff who have children (and those that don’t), perhaps your company could consider partnering with a good quality gym or training facility near your office. Once per week, staff could be allowed to leave work early in order to head to the gym.

Incentivising group exercise

Many gyms also offer classes, and I find that staff who exercise together work better together! Group activities have been proven to foster better relationships between your employees outside of the office, making your working environment healthier and more productive. It might be worth considering some kind of incentive to get staff out of their seats and into the gym. Activities such as an office league can encourage healthy competition while promoting health.

For employers with smaller teams and limited budgets, I find that in-house evening yoga, bodyweight or Pilates classes, are a great option for your employees. Not only does this give your employees the chance to avoid rush hour traffic but it also helps them to mentally and physically unwind from a day of sitting at a desk.

When budgets are non-existent, I would always encourage employers to look at the resources available, i.e. your staff. Speak to the staff members who are interested in sport and see if they would be interested in heading up your sports and social club. Enthusiastic staff can help organise groups interested in runs, walks and fitness challenges, which will foster better relationships between your employees and overall, create a less stressful environment.

Siobhan is director/co owner of Bodybyrne Fitness and full-time trainer. She is a brand ambassador for Puma. She has been involved in the fitness industry for over 10 years. Her background is in Kickboxing and she has competed in tournaments around Ireland.

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