We live in a flexible work world. A Microsoft study of more than 30,000 workers in 31 countries concluded that “extreme flexibility and hybrid work will define the post-pandemic workplace.” But with that flexibility comes new challenges, like long hours in front of the computer, and long days spent constantly hopping between computer-based tasks and virtual meetings. All that time in front of the screen threatens employee fitness as people struggle to find time to be physically active – whether it’s taking a short jog, enjoying a quick yoga sequence or working with free weights.
There’s no doubt that better employee health and wellness will boost performance and the bottom line – or that poor employee wellbeing can be a drain on business revenue. Now, with more employees working remotely, and more employees working remotely more days of the week, companies are challenged to encourage their workforce to find time to get out of their chairs and away from their screens. But how? After all, nearly 45% of professionals who transitioned to remote work say they are already working more hours than before.
Using 10 Minutes Between Meetings to Drive Better Employee Fitness
In today’s demanding and uncertain times, physical fitness can have a positive impact on employees’ ability to meet the new demand for resilience and agility that companies need. The good news is that fitness can be found in the 10 minutes between all of those meetings working remotely demands.
According to Blink Fitness, longer training doesn’t always translate to better results. In fact, the key to getting the most out of short bouts of exercise is – as with so many things in life – working smarter (and sometimes harder) but not necessarily longer.
Fizzup’s 7-minute workouts, for example, use high-intensity interval training (HIIT) – 12 exercises performed for 30 seconds each, with 10 seconds of rest between each exercise. These workouts allow employees to easily alternate between strength training (using their body weight) and cardio right from home.
The Physical Benefits of Workouts That Are 10 Minutes or Less
Shorter, more frequent workouts can help employees maintain their energy levels, restore lost energy, and boost confidence, as well as meet their fitness goals.
Sworkit, a platform that offers a wide array of online training and workouts, says that finding new ways to add exercise intervals throughout the day can strengthen bones and muscles. Frequent, mini workouts are a strategy that naval officers have used for years: setting the timer on their watches to remind them to do a set or two of exercises every hour.
The Mental Benefits of Shorter, Intermittent Workouts
Ten-minute wellness breaks can reduce the stress, sense of isolation and other negative mental health impacts caused by long stretches working remotely in front of a monitor. Maybe even better, short, regular exercise can prevent the symptoms of stress from taking hold in the first place.
The bottom line is that employee physical fitness doesn’t need to mean long hours at the gym. These 10-minute workouts, or micro-workout examples, have proven to be effective for gaining muscle, boosting metabolism and losing weight. And physical fitness means greater engagement, higher productivity, less absenteeism and a better bottom line.
The Gympass Editorial Team empowers HR leaders to support worker wellbeing. Our original research, trend analyses, and helpful how-tos provide the tools they need to improve workforce wellness in today's fast-shifting professional landscape.