Fitter workers are 'more loyal'

26-07-2006

Healthier staff are more productive and less likely to leave an organisation than unfit staff, new research has shown.

The research from Standard Chartered Bank in conjunction with Sheffield Hallam University found that physically fit staff were more likely to stay in one workplace for longer and to achieve a higher output during their time at work.

Participating in physical activity programmes also decreased stress, anxiety and depression for workers, thus lessening visits to the doctor and healthcare costs.

Unfit workers, however, took more sick days and did not work as hard as their more active colleagues.

Two in five respondents to the survey said that they had less concentration and were less focused at work due to a lack of exercise, while half of the respondents from London and the South East said that their lack of fitness impacted on their productivity at work.

Free gym membership was found to be more of an incentive to workers than regular work social events or a company phone, with more than a third of those surveyed saying that they would be more likely to stay in their job if they had this.

"Being fit makes you feel better about coming to work," said Standard Chartered Bank's longest-serving UK employee of 40 years, Phil Harvey.

"The bank got me into running, starting with the company gyms many years ago, and then paying for me to enter marathons, and this has definitely had a big influence on my loyalty to them."



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