WORKING TO WORK OUT
Considering research has shown exercise helps increase brain function that inspires productivity and creativity, working out at work shouldn’t be that outlandish. Some major U.S. companies like Google and Aetna have already picked up on these perks and are helping employees fit workouts in the morning or at night into their daily schedule while on the clock.
Just over 40 percent of participants would enjoy required in-office workouts to help them stay healthy and in shape. And roughly two-thirds would stick with a company that instituted a mandatory exercise policy.
The opportunity to work out with on-site gym equipment was just as popular, with over three-quarters of respondents telling us they would work out more if their office had gym equipment (like a treadmill desk by NordicTrack, ProForm, etc.). Finally, nearly 78 percent would burn extra calories over the week if their employer had a gym they could take advantage of during work hours.
People polled weren’t looking for fancy exercise options, however (although group classes to learn how to dance at a party sound pretty cool). Most preferred walking, spend free time in the gym, and utilizing the stairs. Those who preferred walking can consider some of the the top treadmills for walking, like the Sole F63 or the XTERRA TRX4500
IN-OFFICE WORKOUTS AND AGE
It turns out, younger participants were more for mandatory in-office workouts than those who were older.
Working out on the clock was most popular among people aged 18 to 29. Over 42 percent of this age group would enjoy being required to exercise on the job. Interestingly, millennials have shown an affinity for working out so much that the obesity rate in America has declined among 19- to 35-year-olds. People aged 30 to 39 had a similarly positive response to mandatory workouts, with over 40 percent appreciating the change of pace.
However, a majority of respondents 60 and older would not enjoy being forced to get physical at work and were even more likely to leave a job that instituted obligatory workout sessions.
IN-OFFICE WORKOUT PREFERENCES, BY GENDER
Men and women had different opinions on working out at work. This shouldn’t be such a surprise, considering men and women have different approaches to working out already.
Men were slightly more likely to enjoy working out at work than women and were more willing to stick with an employer who instituted a mandatory exercise policy. Men were also more likely to consider themselves healthy (72 percent versus 66 percent) and to work out during the workweek (62 percent versus 51 percent).
On the other hand, women would work out more if their office had gym equipment, like a treadmill desk. In general, women tend to work out less than men do, often because they consider themselves to be short on time.
GETTING HEALTHY AT WORK
Across the U.S., less than half of adults meet the Physical Activity Guidelines for aerobic physical activity established by the CDC.
We found participants who considered themselves to be healthy were more likely to have a positive response to mandatory workouts at the office (42 percent versus 37 percent).
More than two-thirds of people who said they were healthy would continue working with a company that instituted required exercises, compared to 40 percent who didn’t consider themselves to be healthy.
However, nearly three-quarters of participants who didn’t consider themselves to be healthy were more likely to work out if their office had equipment or an on-site gym they could use during working hours.
While not all companies have implemented on-site workout facilities, certain industries were much more partial to managed employee fitness.
Half of the respondents in the legal and agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting industries preferred having workouts built into their regular workdays. Lawyers are known for having one of the most demanding jobs – some putting in between 60 and 70 hours per week. It’s no wonder then they would appreciate the opportunity to log a few miles or reps during these busy days.
Other industries that supported mandatory in-office workouts included education, marketing, and construction.
However, people in transportation and warehousing were the least likely to enjoy required workouts at work.
WILLING TO STICK AROUND
While people from certain industries were more likely to enjoy mandated workouts on the clock, other employees were more (and less) likely to stay at their job if their employer introduced mandatory in-office exercise.
Roughly 44 percent of participants in manufacturing were likely to enjoy these kinds of workout sessions, and nearly 80 percent would keep their job because of it. Respondents in agriculture were also most likely to stay if in-office workouts were mandatory, followed by government employees and those in the hospitality industry.
Not everyone had the same response, though. Around 40 percent or more of employees in the arts and entertainment industry, as well as broadcasting and journalism, were more likely to quit their job if their employer required exercising at work.
REGIONALLY REQUIRED RECREATION
It turns out, U.S. workers were largely divided about exercising on company time. Those in the South had the strongest positive opinion of mandated in-office workouts.
However, people in the Northeast and Midwest were the least inclined to support required exercise sessions at work. Maybe they’ve found a better way to balance their workweek and still find time to work out.
For employers, instituting regular company workouts can reduce lost time due to sick hours and promote productivity and creativity. Workday exercises could benefit employees and employers alike.
NO MORE EXCUSES
Getting in a little exercise during the workweek isn’t just about burning calories. The CDC states regular physical activity can do everything from improving mental health to reducing the risk of some types of cancer. Your week may already feel full with commitments to work and family, but finding just 5 to 10 minutes a day to workout can have a positive impact on your well-being.
Having a home treadmill can make exercising a part of your everyday routine, leading to a happier, healthier you.
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We surveyed over 2,000 people in the United States about working out during the workweek.
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