Should companies take an interest in our physical health?

or does it not have much to do with work? 




By Douglas Pieterse, Co-Founder & Head Personal Trainer
"It may be simple but not always easy"

How often have we heard about the benefits of having your staff do physical training, not only to improve their health but also to keep them from taking so much sick leave? Just look at any statistic relating to sick leave in the workplace and the extortionate amount of money lost on it each year. Another missed opportunity that companies overlook is the team building aspect derived from work colleagues sweating and pushing themselves to their limit. At R3, we have a corporate group that comes in on average 4 times a week for high intensity workouts, as well as some more balanced yoga sessions. Each week I see them pull together as a team, encouraging each other along the way and finding the best strategies for getting through the sometimes life-threatening workouts that are thrown at them. I can clearly see their bond develop further than just the workplace and they truly take an interest in the well being of each other. The owner of the company has hit the nail on the head when it comes to finding a good balance between pushing cardio, respiratory, and strength training, combined with the mindfulness and skill of yoga. 


The good:

Less sick days means more productivity. It also leads to reduced animosity amongst peers. There is something about getting to know someone while they lie in a puddle of sweat on the floor that makes it easier to understand who they are and where they are coming from. Often, a supposedly 'good' work culture is celebrated by going to the bar and showing how much you can drink and still do a handstand: a healthier outlet means limits can still be tested but not at the expense of post-drinking hangovers or regrets. 

Who is it for?

Ego and competition don’t always go hand in hand, so make sure things don't get carried away with either. Beating your boss on the assault bike may feel good and bad at the same time for different reasons but I wouldn’t go rubbing it in their face. People with higher positions have a way of making your life hell if you give them reason to. 


Creating a stronger fitness and health culture in the workplace has a plethora of benefits both physically, mentally - and a bonus benefit of being more sexy. The training should ideally suit the people coming to train. There is no point in organizing rugby training if your work colleagues comprise mainly of skinny fat Sogo princesses.


If you are in a position to do so, or if your company recognises the importance of sport as a constructive and fun team-building activity, then be sure to set it up, take part and build a working environment that benefits both employer and employee. 


What others say: 

“ Yes! I’ve been paying for staff workouts (gym memberships, yoga classes) since 2015... And it’s a win-win situation for both your company and your staff,”

“Everyone gets so health conscious, so they are physically, mentally and even spiritually on point. No one calls in sick, work is done more efficiently, the team bond is strong and, basically, everyone loves coming to work. 


Devena Mok, Director of PR Agency, A-VIBE