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Saturday, November 15, 2014

How Fit Employees Can Boost Company Profits

Ingrid Taojo How Fit Employees Can Boost Company Profits Activo Fitness Gym Tagum - Davao Region Philippines
Perhaps it was my luck to be invited by the newest Premier Fitness Facility in Tagum City, Activo Fitness Gym, located at Bibu Square along National High way. Special thanks to the Marketing Manager Ms. RS Dela Cruz for giving me the opportunity to take a glance of how a world class Gym looks like.

But what is more exciting about being here was that Ms. Ingrid Taojo (commonly known as Peabo) was able to share her expertise about physical fitness in a corporate world. As a fitness trainer and General Manager of Activo Fitness, she gave this article to me sweat free.

Fitter Employee, Richer Company

By Ingrid Taojo, Activo Fitness

People spend most of their time in the office. Oftentimes these employees engage in bad health habits and thus are more prone to health risks. The six most common health risks are:

1. Lack of physical activity - employees spend most of their time sitting down
2. Tobacco use
3. Hypercholesterolemia - high cholesterol levels
4. Hypertension - high blood pressure
5. Obesity
6. High Stress Levels

Studies have shown that employees with these health risks cost employers 228% more because of the following reasons:

  • They are more prone to illness and thus are often absent for work
  • They are lethargic and unmotivated resulting to reduced productivity at work
  • They are more prone to injuries (such as back pains), mistakes and accidents (such as falling from stairs or slipping from the floor), causing an increase in health care costs (usually in the form of cash advances)
  • Increased employee turnover

Ingrid Taojo How Fit Employees Can Boost Company Profits Activo Fitness Gym Tagum - Davao Region Philippines
The Nutritionist and Dietitians’ Association of the Philippines estimates that over 400 million Filipinos suffer from these six most common health risks. It is without a doubt that health problems arising from these health risks are COSTLY and DANGEROUS. The good news is that most of these health risks are PREVENTABLE. Most health issues are results of lifestyle choices and thus can be prevented by learning about how to make the right choices, especially regarding:

  • What to eat or drink
  • How to exercise effectively and safely
  • How to handle stress

The truth is most employees in the Philippines are ignorant about how to make the right lifestyle choices. There are very few organizations that conduct activities to spread awareness about how to live a healthy lifestyle, and local companies don’t usually provide this information to their employees.

When employees get sick, most often they see a doctor who advises them to take certain medications. These are quick fixes and are not effective in maintaining long-term wellness. It keeps people unhealthy and dependent on drugs. The truth is most doctors don’t take much time to explain about healthy lifestyle choices in order for people to avoid these illnesses at the first place.

Ingrid Taojo How Fit Employees Can Boost Company Profits Activo Fitness Gym Tagum - Davao Region Philippines
So how can companies help improve the health and well-being of their employees? The answer is by implementing an effective WORKSITE HEALTH PROMOTION (WHP) PROGRAM. WHP is the combined efforts of employers, employees and society to improve the health and well-being of people at work. Most companies in the developed world already have a WHP program in place. A lot of Philippine companies are also adapting WHP programs. WHP programs often involve:

  • The company sponsoring fitness center memberships for their employees. Usually the company requires employees to workout at the gym 10-12 times per month, otherwise the entire cost of membership is deducted from the employee’s salary. This is to ensure participation of the employee in the WHP program.
  • Some companies also provide cash incentives to employees who quit smoking.
  • Conducting seminars or activities to spread awareness on healthy lifestyle choices among their employees

Several studies about companies that are implementing WHP programs have shown that WHP has very positive effects on the employees:

  • Reduced heath risks
  • Better eating habits
  • Better management of stress
  • Reduced smoking and alcohol consumption

These positive effects in the employees result to several positive effects to the company:

  • Higher employee satisfaction
  • Increased employee loyalty
  • Improved productivity
  • Fewer injuries
  • Lower health care costs

These positive effects translate to actual savings for the company. Studies have shown that WHP can achieve a positive return on investment by reducing medical and absenteeism costs by 25-30%.

Ingrid Taojo How Fit Employees Can Boost Company Profits Activo Fitness Gym Tagum - Davao Region Philippines
A famous example of a company with a highly successful WHP program is Citibank. Citibank recorded savings of $ 8.9 Million through their WHP program, with an investment of only $ 1.9 Million. Another study that involved 15 different companies showed that WHP yields an average ROI of $ 3.27 for every $ 1.*

It has been proven that providing employees WHP is effective in reducing employees’ health risks, compared to letting them find health solutions themselves. Studies claim that this is because the workplace is an ideal setting for health promotion:

  • It is composed of a concentrated group of people with a common purpose and a common goal
  • Both employee and employer have the same goal: to increase profit
  • Social support is available
  • The worksite often has organizational norms. In other words, anything they get into together can be “uso”. In this way, getting fit and health can be “uso

However, WHP can only be effective if it is well designed. A study by Heaney and Goetzel showed that the most effective WHP programs had the following elements:

  1. Individual Health Counseling - The employee consults a health coach or a personal trainer about his/ her fitness goals and other health concerns.
  2. Coaching - The employee is given an appropriate training program, is guided to do the exercises safely and effectively, and is motivated.
  3. Self-Management Training - The employee is taught how to be independent in managing his/ her own health for long-term health maintenance

Ingrid Taojo How Fit Employees Can Boost Company Profits Activo Fitness Gym Tagum - Davao Region Philippines

The good news is that we at Activo Fitness can provide all three elements of an effective WHP. Our fitness center is one of the best in the Philippines. Activo Fitness offers:

  1. EXPERT ADVICE - Our senior fitness trainers have 5 to 25 years of experience in the fitness industry and are certified in various wellness disciplines. They can provide all three elements of an effective WHP: Individual health counseling, coaching, and self-management training
  2. COMPLETE FITNESS EQUIPMENT - We have more than 100 different exercise equipment 
  3. PERSONAL TRAINING 1-ON-1- Our membership packages come with free personal training 1-on-1 sessions with our qualified fitness trainers.
  4. FRIENDLY STAFF - they will make sure you are happy at well-taken care of at the gym
  5. OVER 20 GROUP EXERCISES PER WEEK - we have morning, afternoon, and evening group exercise classes to suit different schedules
  6. SAUNA - Our world-class Finnish sauna will soothe muscles after a workout
  7. PRE AND POST WORKOUT CARE - free towels, lockers, showers, and toilets 
  8. MOTIVATION - Our music, our interiors and our company culture were all designed to motivate clients to be fit and stay fit

Ingrid Taojo How Fit Employees Can Boost Company Profits Activo Fitness Gym Tagum - Davao Region Philippines
Again, This Article was shared to us by Ms. Ingrid Taojo, Activo Fitness - General Manager, Crossfit L1 Trainer and Internationally Registered Yoga Instructor.

Activo Fitness Gym

Bibu Square, Liwayway Village
8100 Tagum City, Davao
Business Hours: (Mon - Sat) 6:00 am - 9:00 pm
Contact numbers: (+6384) 6550309
Email: activofitness@yahoo.com
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