Fitness in the Workplace

Fitness in the Workplace

RAPID advances in technology are drastically changing our lives from being physically active to physically inactive. We are becoming more prone to living a sedentary lifestyle. Instead of walking to the grocery or sari-sari store, we drive or take a tricycle or taxi to the mall or supermarket. Instead of climbing stairs, we take the elevator or escalator. Instead of walking, jogging, or cycling, we are glued to the TV and home videos. Instead of engaging in physical sports, we watch basketball games or boxing on TV or play computer games in the comfort of our homes.

How have physical inactivity and sedentary lifestyles affected our workplace - specifically our productivity in the workplace?

The answer is obvious. We are becoming physically unhealthy, or at least susceptible to various forms of physical and mental disorders. Lack of sports and physical fitness activities weakens our bodies. Add to this the daily stressful routine of our lives like traffic jams, hurried breakfasts, lack of sleep, etc. and the result is obvious. We become less productive in the workplace.

Confronted with this problem, what are the interventions being undertaken by the Human Resource (HR) departments in the Philippines? What mechanisms are utilized in order to harness employee participation in the implementation of various HR interventions in employees' fitness and leisure activities?

What is fitness?

Fitness is generally defined as having a functional (or physiological) capacity and quality of life. Illustrated is what has been called the System Model of Fitness.

Components of fitness

1. Functional Capacity. Functional capacity means physiological fitness or fitness of the body. It has the following subcomponents:

a. Cardio-respiratory and Muscular Fitness is sustained by good exercise habits. Good exercise habits maintain a healthy cardio-respiratory (heart-lung) system to enable it to deliver sufficient oxygen to the working muscles for physical strength, endurance, and flexibility.

b. Nutritional Fitness means good nutritional or eating habits that will promote body growth and development. It will also help prevent body disorders or diseases.

c. Mental and Emotional (or Motor) Fitness means that the person is relatively free of mental and emotional stresses and tensions.

2. Quality of Life. The goal of fitness is the person's attainment of quality of life which is an overall positive feeling and enthusiasm for life. It is the ability to easily perform daily tasks enthusiastically, and even go beyond the person's daily routine.

Let us now go back to the question, "What are the interventions being undertaken by Human Resource (HR) departments in the Philippines?"

Using the system model of fitness, the HR department can be involved in the following areas:

1. Promotion of Good Eating Habits (Nutritional Fitness)

a. Subsidy to company canteen to maximize the value of the money of the employees spent on food

b. Regular evaluation of the cleanliness and the nutritional values of food served in the canteen

c. Seminar or information campaign on nutritional fitness for employees and its impact on productivity and the employee's quality of life

d. Launching of a "Nutrition & Fitness Month"

e. The campaign against bad nutritional habits like excessive eating, drinking, smoking, etc. that leads to malnutrition, addiction to alcohol and tobacco, etc.

f. Possibility of granting meal or food allowance to employees in the absence of a company assisted employees' canteen

g. Training of the company health and HR personnel (nurses, doctors, and other HR staff) in nutrition promotion and counseling

2. Promotion of Good Exercise and Leisure Habits (Cardiorespiratory and Muscular Fitness)

source: Byline: DEAN JORGE V. SIBAL University of the Philippines School of Labor and Industrial Relations

0 التعليقات