Workplace Wellness at GHF

Be Well at Work: Workplace Wellness and Motivation

Investing in workplace wellness has been a hot topic with the rapid adoption of programs among established companies. With such fast and widespread adoption, many people and companies have called into question the effectiveness and financial practicality of these programs.

In a January 2016 article published in the Society for Human Resource Management, Stephen Miller cites research looking at the 45 companies posting top scores on the HERO scorecard for workplace wellness practices. The stock prices of these companies rose an average of 235 percent from 2009 to 2014, as compared to an average of 159 percent among the companies listed in the S&P 500 in that time frame. Paul Terry, CEO of HERO, and Ray Fabius, study co-author and co-founder of HealthNEXT, believe that these findings support that maintaining healthier employees results in higher productivity and performance while increasing a sense of engagement in their work and leading to lower turnover rates (1).


Motivation Strategies for Workplace Wellness

What does effective workplace wellness look like? Research from the University of Pennsylvania demonstrates that using negative punishment is as much as 50 percent more effective than positive reinforcement. In a 13 week study of 281 employees with a daily step goal of seven thousand, participants were either given $1.40 for every day they met their goal or they were given the full $42 reward at the beginning of each month and had to return $1.40 for every day they missed their step goal (2).

While loss-aversion works in the short-term, it’s worth asking if the tradeoff to resentment from employees. Especially since other methods work well, such as developing intrinsic motivation through rewarding efforts rather than outcomes, and developing a sense of social belonging while tying the process to something meaningful to the employees. Self-Determination Theory, a seminal work in motivation dives much deeper into the importance of intrinsic motivation and internalized extrinsic motivation (3).

Active Design for Workplace Wellness

Active Design for Workplace Wellness

Active design is another strategy that has had success by designing or simply re-arranging the workspace to encourage movement. This includes having signage to direct employees to the stairs and encouraging employees to choose the stairs over the elevator. Additionally, making natural light more available, encouraging face-to-face communications and offering either a variety of height work surfaces can all make improvements in employee health and productivity. These all help without needing complicated incentive structures that may lead to lower long-term motivation (2).

In summary, research has shown that among companies who have successful workplace wellness programs, the financial returns and competitive advantage are clear. However, there are questions as to what methods to adopt. It is crucial to consider how it will integrate into the company culture, what resources are available for incentive programs, or in developing an environment conducive to health, well-being, and productivity. Our Golden Home Fitness coaches streamline your workplace wellness services by coming right to you on-site; call (844) 704-9477 for a free coaching session!

Referenced

  1. https://www.shrm.org/ResourcesAndTools/hr-topics/benefits/Pages/wellness-corporate-performance.aspx
  2. https://www.shrm.org/ResourcesAndTools/hr-topics/benefits/Pages/fitness-incentives-active-design.aspx
  3. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/264531505_Self-Determination_Theory_and_Physical_Activity_The_Dynamics_of_Motivation_in_Development_and_Wellness

Outside the Box: Exercise in-Home to Develop Creative Thinking

Health, wellness, and exercise should enrich our lives, bring excitement, vitality, and a sense of progress. Why, then, is it that when most people think of “getting healthy,” that the images conjured are of hordes of people every January running on a treadmill, eating the same rotation of lettuce, unseasoned chicken, brown rice, and raw broccoli? Often, it’s because people have accepted the things they hear repeated when it comes to health, practicing “convergent thinking.” In this article, I’ll address how in-home exercise is especially suited to work your creative “divergent thinking” muscles, break you out of the mold, and enrich your life!

To grossly oversimplify, there are two kinds of people: those who primarily employ “convergent thinking,” and those who primarily employ “divergent thinking.” The former is associated with seeing a limited number of options or directions, preferring to do things as they’ve always been done, the “it is what is” mindset that constrains many people to a monotonous routine, feeling trapped but resigned to believing there’s no way out. The latter is associated with looking to find the full range of options or directions, especially those not immediately obvious, preferring to find the best way to do things, the “I can change myself and the world around me” mindset that leads people to grow beyond the lot they’ve been given and maximize their life.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with convergent thinking, and we need a fair amount of convergent thinking in the economy and in our lives, from a bus driver taking the same way every day, to adhering to established laws and ethics. However, it’s divergent thinking that most people seem interested in: how to innovate in X industry, how to stretch the dollars in every paycheck a little further, how to make the most out of the time and resources available to us in whatever way we desire.

If you walk into most big box health clubs, it’s a pretty standard experience. No matter how fancy the treadmills or expansive the “functional” zone is, there’s a constant ebb and flow of trends that the entire health and wellness industry rides every few years. Convergent thinking is riding the wave; divergent thinking is riding your own wave or creating a new wave for everyone else to ride.

When most people think of getting fit, they think of going to a gym. However, physical fitness centers for the general public have only proliferated in the last 50-80 years since Jack Lalanne opened up shop in 1936. Exercising at home, outside, or in the course of daily living really isn’t all that countercultural, despite what the marketing campaigns of health clubs may lead you to believe. When people do decide to exercise in-home, the reasons typically include some of:

  • Anxious to go into the intimidating gym environment
  • Save the time to commute to the gym
  • Save on expensive memberships
  • Prefer to dictate their experience (music, decor, etc.)
  • Hate waiting for crowded equipment

Everyone who starts to workout at home is faced with a dilemma: the fancy machines are gone; the full rack of weights are nowhere to be found; since much of the traditional content around exercise relies on these tools, what do you do? Wait for it… you figure it out! This is where divergent thinking comes in. You can see a set of options not only as they are presented, but in all the ways a solution can be found. You soon realize that a backpack laying in your closet can be filled with water bottles, books, or anything at all, and suddenly you have a versatile and adjustable weight set without spending a dime. That set of stairs? You better believe you can do cardio training running or walking up, down, and laterally, push-ups made easier or harder with elevating your hands or feet, step ups, box jumps, and on and on! Have some buckets in your garage? The range of possibilities is limited only by your imagination and the laws of physics.

What do you do? Wait for it… you figure it out! This is where divergent thinking comes in. You can see a set of options not only as they are presented, but in all the ways a solution can be found.

You may be saying to yourself: “Wow, I never thought of that, I’m not creative enough to come up with all these different possibilities.” Well, this is the fun part! By exposing yourself to activities more divergent in nature, science supports that you will open up your mind to the range of options and actually become a more creative person, employing divergent thinking throughout* your daily life.

*As an aside, the most exciting part is what that last sentence can mean for you: remember the last time you were in a fight with someone, or prematurely judged someone, and you later realized that if you just thought about the issue from a different perspective, there would have never been an issue at all? How much stress and poor judgment could be prevented by opening yourself to the range of possibilities? There are many other factors at play, but it’s fair to say we can all benefit from a little more open-mindedness in our lives.

The benefits here are not limited to MacGyver-style equipment either. Let’s say you have specific goals related to performing particular exercises and need specialized equipment, you just prefer to use the equipment you’re used to and want to build a home-gym setup, or you live in an apartment building or work in an office with a fitness center. You still develop your divergent thinking aptitude because there are inherent restrictions: maybe the weights only go up to an amount that seems too easy, or there is a limited range of equipment pieces. You’ll have to look at what is available in new ways to see how, for example, even with a limited number of weights you can change several other variables such as range of motion, tempo, stability, and more. Working with a coach can help you learn all these different levers you can work with, or you can check out further free content as a guide, such as our eBook listed below.

We have a more complete guide than I can hope to achieve in this article with the first Golden Home Fitness eBook: The Ultimate Guide to Home Workouts (available complimentary to you by filling out the form below). The eBook covers the why, how, and what precisely you can do, with an accompanying exercise library available on our YouTube channel, and supported by our ongoing newsletters and digital content. Hopefully reading this opened up your mind to some possibilities you hadn’t previously considered, and if you’d like to stay in touch, subscribe to the Golden Home Fitness Weekly Newsletter!

Written by Will Hansen, NSCA-CPT, Golden Home Fitness Director of Operations. Originally published on LinkedIn and Medium and republished with permission.

The Productivity Hack You’ve Been Missing: Exercise at Home

There are a seemingly endless number of productivity “hacks” with a range of efficacies streaming through our feeds daily, as different as ergonomic positioning and wallpaper color to what we put in our coffee. One dramatically underutilized tactic is exercising at home, and here’s why: the benefits of exercise are well established, and nearly everyone you talk to says they should use more, but few do. Why is this? For many, the answer is time. Even more significant than the number of people who say they should exercise more are people who want more time in the day. People want more time to sleep, more time to spend with their kids and spouse, more time to take that class they keep talking about, more time to go out and do fun activities, more time to work on their business, and on and on.

So where does exercising in-home come in? Hopefully, you have a safe place to sleep at night, and if you work a typical 9-5 type job, you’ll be at home both before and after work. If you have a non-traditional work schedule, then you may have other parts of the day at home. By fitting in an exercise habit where you already are every day (and that day-to-day consistency is the most important part) you move closer to your own golden mean of well-being. Since you have your shower, clothes, water, and food all right at home, you cut back dramatically on the total time dedicated to the process of exercise. That process includes commuting to a fitness center, planning your outfit for at the gym and after, bringing shower gear and showering, changing, refilling water, going to the smoothie bar, chatting with other members*… you get the picture. Going to a traditional gym can be incredibly inefficient, and for most people who want to feel better, and look better, is unnecessary.

*It’s worth noting that for many, the social component is essential, and a big reason why they like going to the gym. For the vast majority of Americans however, the gym is the last place they want to spend their socializing time, and when they do try to go every January for their next health kick, it just doesn’t work. A million excuses come up, and it’s not necessarily that they were weak minded, didn’t want it bad enough, or some other “self-help” industry jargon. It’s possible the process of going to the gym just didn’t fit their lifestyle, and by cutting out the inefficiency and finding a better and more sustainable solution for them, they could actually change their lives in a productive and empowering way (but I digress, that’s for another day).

“Going to a traditional gym can be incredibly inefficient, and for most people who want to feel better, and look better, is unnecessary.”

Our Director of Training at Golden Home Fitness, Coach Mike Urso, often references in our wellness workshops at luxury residential communities that only 6% of the American population is meeting five habits linked to health and well-being:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Not smoking
  • Drinking in moderation or not at all
  • Getting 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise or more
  • Getting at least 7 hours of sleep or more on average

Not mentioned on this list, but often featured on other indices of health, is social capital, or having positive relationships with other people in our life and relatedness to the world around us.

It can seem like a cruel Catch-22 where you can choose to get the sleep you need but skip the exercise, or you can sacrifice sleep to get the exercise; then add in trying to get both while making time for family and friends? Most people would think it more likely to see a yeti vacationing in Aruba than maintain all those areas for very long!

It doesn’t have to be that way! In other articles in the Golden Home Fitness resource librarywe’ve discussed how to make the most of your particular situation, including how to get yourself in the right mindset to exercise at home, how to get an effective workout with minimal or no equipment, how to go about equipping your home if you want more of a home gym, and more.

I’ll be writing more on this so stay tuned but know that the elusive lifestyle of your dreams (and for optimal physiological and psychological function) can be within your reach, and exercising at home may help you move closer to your golden mean for a live well-lived.

Written by Will Hansen, NSCA-CPT, Golden Home Fitness Director of Operations. Originally published on LinkedIn and Medium and republished with permission.

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Linked Resources:

Dr. Bill Thorpe & Jocelin Lamprey, RD, LDN on the Woburn Spotlight – Podcast #16

Tune in to an exclusive TV interview with the Woburn Spotlight. The episode gives an insider’s look at Golden Home Fitness founder Bill Thorpe, MD, PhD and Day By Day Nutrition founder Jocelin Lamprey, RD, LDN. The discussion covers their models for bringing holistic health and wellness to the clients, the opportunities they are working on now, and areas to grow into.
Original Video Interview on the Woburn Spotlight:

The podcast can be found on:

iTunes / Google Play / Anchor / Player.FM / Overcast

0:00 – Intro
0:50 – Origin stories of Jocelin and Bill, and their companies
3:45 – Mission and model of Golden Home Fitness and Day by Day Nutrition
6:30 – Current holistic service offerings
10:15 – How the new Golden Home Fitness website is helping people find solutions faster
11:40 – Golden Home Fitness footprint and expansion
13:30 – Market transition away from big box gyms
14:50 – What’s the Golden Home Fitness process for bringing on a new client?
17:10 – Day By Day Nutrition process for bringing on a new client?
19:10 – Partnership opportunities for Golden Home Fitness and Day By Day Nutrition
20:40 – How to get in contact with Bill and Jocelin
Bill:
Jocelin:
21:50 – Closing takeaways and upcoming events

4 Reasons to Invest in Employee Fitness

In our popular podcast clip: “You Can Get Fit Anywhere,” we discussed how it’s not the gym that makes you fit, it’s doing the work wherever and whenever you can. Americans are busy, on average are spending 8 hours and 46 minutes at work and doing work related activities (1). With family, social activities, eating and sleeping, it’s understandable why people feel they don’t have time for wellness and taking care of their own health. Thankfully, programs for wellness in the workplace have been growing rapidly and are a viable solution. Here are four (with a bonus fifth) reasons to invest in employee fitness:

1. Healthy Employees Stay with Your Company (40% More!)

Research from Towers Watson and the National Business Group on Health showed that organizations with a highly effective wellness program lowered voluntary attrition on average from 15% to 9% (2).

2. Health Care Cost Savings of 6 Times Investment

In a six month study completed with a random sample of 185 employees, 57% of high risk employees were converted to low risk, claim costs were reduced by $1,421 per person, and the control group showed no improvements. For every dollar invested in the program, $6 were saved on health care (2).

3. Develop a Company Culture of Health and Wellness

By establishing a company culture of investing in health, individual wellness improves throughout the company, slashing costly absenteeism and productivity loss (3).

4. Personal Training Gets Results

Working with a Personal Trainer has been shown to yield better results, provide more appropriate workouts, and improve client mindset towards fitness training (4, 5, 6).

5. Bonus! 32% Better Stock Performance than the S&P 500

The top 45 performers on the HERO health and wellness scorecard grew their stock prices 235% on average, compared to 159% for the S&P 500 from 2009 to 2014 (7).

 

At Golden Home Fitness, we exist to empower people to live longer, fuller lives no matter their age, and have programs to help you, your company, and your employees live well and move better. To discuss how we can help you specifically, call 844-704-9477 or email info@goldenhomefitness.com to take the first step to helping your company grow stronger!

Accompanying Infographic (Click to Expand)

 

Additional Resources Referenced:

  1. “How Americans Spend Their Time.” U.S. Department of Labor https://blog.dol.gov/2016/06/24/how-americans-spend-their-time
  2. Berry et. al – “What’s the Hard Return on Employee Wellness Programs?” https://www.researchgate.net/publication/49712304_What’s_the_Hard_Return_on_Employee_Wellness_Programs
  3. De La Torre and Goetzel – “How to Design a Corporate Wellness Plan That Actually Works” https://hbr.org/2016/03/how-to-design-a-corporate-wellness-plan-that-actually-works
  4. Storer et al. – “Effect of supervised, periodized exercise training vs. self-directed training on lean body mass and other fitness variables in health club members.” – Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: July 2014 – Volume 28 – Issue 7 – p 1995–2006 https://www.researchgate.net/publication/258922751_Effect_of_Supervised_Periodized_Exercise_Training_vs_Self-Directed_Training_on_Lean_Body_Mass_and_Other_Fitness_Variables_in_Health_Club_Members
  5. McClaran – “The Effectiveness Of Personal Training On Changing Attitudes Towards Physical Activity” – Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2003) 2, 10-14 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3937569/
  6. Dias et al. – “Influence Of A Personal Trainer On Self-selected Loading During Resistance Exercise” – J Strength Cond Res. 2017 Jul;31(7):1925-1930. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/27676273/
  7. Miller – “Workplace Wellness Linked with Superior Corporate Performance” https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/benefits/pages/wellness-corporate-performance.aspx