Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Keep Fit to Get the Most from Your Job

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Keep Fit to Get the Most from Your Job

Article excerpt

Byline: LAURA TOPHAM

NEED another reason to go to the gym? Fitter people perform better at work.

Granted, as motivation this is less glamorous than hopes of achieving a Madonna-like body or Olympic glory, but it's also more attainable - even a basic level of fitness will hugely improve your effectiveness in the office.

On top of this, studies show that physically fit staff feel more content and satisfied at work so are less likely to leave an organisation. A recent investigation by Standard Chartered Bank with Sheffield Hallam University found employee-wellness programmes decrease staff turnover by up to 22 per cent.

While exercise brings positive benefits to the workplace, poor fitness can impair your productivity; unfit workers take more sick days than their fitter colleagues and don't work as hard. Around half of respondents in London and the South-East admitted their low fitness levels impacted on their performance at work, with two in five blaming a lack of exercise for poor concentration and focus.

Fortunately, however, the benefits of exercise can be quickly harnessed.

Even a one-off burst of cardio will bring instant benefits. Says Kathryn Freeland, celebrity personal trainer and managing director of Absolute Fitness: "Immediately after your first exercise session you will feel more energetic, less stressed and more positive.

"Exercise has an energising effect as well as releasing endorphins - feel-good chemicals in the brain which make you feel happier. Stress will also diminish because you've been away from the workplace."

Long-term, the benefits are even greater.

A basic level of fitness - developed after only six weeks of regular exercise will translate into increased energy throughout the day, being able to handle stress better, a stronger immune system and better sleep. …

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