Workplace exercise and productivity go hand in hand: Survey

One-third of U.S. workers exercise at work, but more would if employer provided equipment

Employees in the United States believe that exercise has a positive impact on their well-being and improves their productivity, according to a new survey.

The survey of 700 office workers by office furniture manufacturer Steelcase, based in Grand Rapids, Mich., found 80 per cent of them say exercise improves their well-being and 78 per cent say it improves productivity at work.

Unfortunately, only one-third of respondents say their employer provides them access to fitness equipment or promotes fitness at work.

The availability of equipment or an exercise-friendly environment is tied to an employee's choice to exercise at work.

Only 31 per cent of respondents say they exercise during work hours. Of the 69 per cent who don't work out, 62 per cent say that not having an appropriate place to exercise at work is the main reason and 19 per cent say it's because exercise is frowned upon at work.

A large majority (80 per cent) of employees who want their employer to provide exercise equipment say they would use it at least every other day.

Exercise during the workday also has a perceived impact on employees' frame of mind and ability to focus at work. Eighty-five per cent of respondents say that exercise gives them energy to stay awake and 79 per cent use exercise to take a necessary break from the office.

What employees want:

• 59 per cent want a treadmill

• 20 per cent want dumbbells and free weights

• 18 per cent want an elliptical machine

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