Stress and poor health in the workplace is a growing concern for employees and employers in Australia. However in recent years the world of corporate wellness has reached a turning point with employers re-evaluating their approach to employee wellness, engagement, retention, results and return on investment.
Research undertaken into the health of employees by Medibank Private in 2005 showed that healthy employees are nearly three times more productive than unhealthy employees, with poor employee health and absenteeism costing Australian business $7 billion annually.
Stress plays a major part in the poor health behaviours of Australian employees, with unhealthy Australian workers having poor stress management techniques as well as low energy levels and poor concentration. Another major consideration point in the research is the number of employees who claim to have experienced a medical condition – mainly back and neck pain.
However findings from workplace studies reviewed by Monash University suggest that companies that introduce workplace health programs enhance employee performance, creating a healthier work environment and aiding in employee retention.
This has prompted Power Plate in Australia to create the Power Plate® concept – a program designed to build corporate wellness, increase staff productivity, reduce absenteeism and aid recruitment and staff retention.
The concept is simple and affordable. Taking time out on the Power Plate machine a few times a day will improve circulation, better posture, boost concentration and enhance productivity. Introducing our quick, three minute series of stretches on the Power Plate machine provides employees with a break from their desk and a chance to revitalise themselves during the work day.
Power Plate equipment takes up a small amount of room and can be set up in any common area. Machines can be integrated into a pre-existing fitness centre if this has been already established. Alternatively the machines can be set up in breakout areas or common areas within each of the floors of the business. With some of our larger corporate clients, the Power Plate machines can also be installed within the offices of the majority of partners.
FitStop pilot, managed by Power Plate, was run at Sainsbury’s Coventry office. It encouraged employees to perform a 3 minute series of stretches on a PP training machine during their work day. Around 85 employees received a FS induction, with a random sampling of 41 staff completing a bi-monthly questionnaire during the six month pilot. Results include:
- 37% decrease in the number of employees who spent more than 7 hours per day sedentary
- 67% decrease in those that felt unable to cope with workloads due to stress
- 70% increase in the number of employees who did not take any sick days during the final 3 months of the trial
- Almost 90% said they noticed increased energy levels and productivity as a result of the pilot.
“Feedback from employees was fantastic, with staff using the machine daily to perform various stretches and for longer workouts before and after work. It proved to be a convenient way for staff to re-energise during the working day. A number of our staff reported an increase in productivity, reduction in stress and improved circulation as a result.” – Tracy Thornton, HR Service Implementation Manager at Sainsbury’s.