Numbers & figures:
Sporty employees for healthy companies
A CEO who bikes up Mont Ventoux, employees who run a marathon or managers who do a thorough analysis of a soccer team's offensive ability, sports are hot. In this blog we dive into the statistics and uncover the connection between sport, health and productivity in the workplace. Underpinned by some essential numbers and figures you should know, to keep you and your employees motivated next time you're pounding the pavement.
As employee engagement and wellness are finally taking center stage in the business world. For too long, they have been viewed as the responsibility of the HR department and not an integral part of business strategy.
Over 85% of the workforce spends an alarming amount of time sitting
However, it is increasingly clear that unhealthy and unengaged employees are a drag on productivity, innovation, and the bottom line. The time we spend sitting behind a screen continues to increase. Official European research shows that 60% of all employees in our country spend too much time glued to their desk chairs. A striking trend: the larger the company, the more often employees sit down for too long.
In small companies - with fewer than 10 employees - just under half spend too much time sitting down. But at organizations with more than 250 employees, that figure rises to 85%. This means that almost everyone working in a large organization runs a health risk due to too much inactivity at the office. With these percentages, Belgium is in the European middle.
Highly engaged teams show 21% greater profitability
It’s a straight fact that employee engagement consists of concrete behavior, not an abstract feeling. Companies that consider employee engagement to be a feeling implement employee surveys and offer perks to improve results. A recent study found that the most successful companies put employee engagement at the heart of their business strategy.
Companies that give their employees clear expectations and provide them with the resources and support to do their best work. Why are engaged teams more profitable? Teams that score in the top 20% for engagement experience 41% lower absenteeism and 59% lower turnover. Engaged employees show up every day with passion, purpose, presence and energy.
Employees who feel their voices are heard are 4.6 times more likely to feel good at their workplace
Recognition and feedback are the start of the whole process. Employee engagement should not be relegated to the HR department, but should be central to the overall business strategy. 89% of HR leaders agree that ongoing peer feedback and check-ins are essential for successful outcomes. As this Salesforce report also shows, there is a need to ensure that the voice of employees is heard as part of a larger push for equality and inclusiveness in the workplace.
Companies with greater gender and ethnic diversity consistently outperform their competitors. They better reflect the diversity of society and reach more potential customers, and they incorporate a wider range of perspectives into their decision-making and strategy.
Sporty employees are on average 6 days per year less absent
A large-scale Dutch study in which a group of employees was followed for three years showed that people who practiced sports were sick less often and for less time than their non-sporting colleagues. Sporty employees were on average 6 days per year less absent than employees who during the duration of the study had not participated in sports. In turn, the increased attendance rate of athletic staff translated into increased productivity per employee, which was further confirmed by follow-up research.
Yet, despite the COVID-19 pandemic keeping people away from gyms and group fitness classes, running shows no signs of slowing down. According to Strava's 2021 Year in Sport report, 55 percent of runners on the exercise-tracking app hit a new personal record (PR) in their 5K, 10K, half-marathon and marathon distances in 2020. Stimulating sport is also a good idea to reduce or even largely prevent absenteeism.
89% of employees at companies that support wellness initiatives are more likely to recommend their company as a good place to work
One of the deciding factors in the success of workplace health and well-being programs is the involvement and commitment of upper management. Employee well-being cannot be addressed through a single program, but instead is a reflection of the broader culture and climate within the organization.
An additional positive outcome is that 70% of employers have also improved their physical environment to encourage healthy behaviors. Companies finally understand that wellness must permeate every aspect of an organization. Modifying the physical environment to encourage healthy behaviors includes adding healthy food to break rooms and restaurant menus, ergonomic workstations and appropriate lighting.
Health risks increase absenteeism and reduce the productivity of your employees. And that weighs on the productivity within your company.
In short, the importance of physical activity is indisputable. And healthy employees? They feel better about themselves, are more productive in the office and are less likely to get sick. The correlation between sport, health and productivity holds true across all ages, occupational groups and company sizes. It’s confirmed time and time again by scientific research, therefore companies start seeing the benefits of investing in the health of their employees. Finally! But how do you keep your employees healthy and motivate them to exercise? There are many tools that can help you with a prevention and activation policy at work.
Read about it in our blog: How to activate your employees