A Kick in the Right Direction

WA Management provides professional, adaptable and appropriate solutions for your Health and Safety needs. Each week, our research blog takes a detailed look at particularly topical areas of the sector, or risks that are repeatedly overlooked. The arrival of July sees a multitude of world-class sporting events continue or conclude; with the World Cup, the Tour de France and Wimbledon all reaching their exciting climaxes in the month. Consequently, this week’s research blog was inspired to uncover the links between sport, individual mental health and general workplace productivity.

What sport is going on in July? And why is it even remotely relevant to Health and Safety?

With England decimating Sweden last Saturday, and the semi-finals against Croatia looming, it seems people are beginning to believe. Could this be the summer that football finally comes home?

Aside from the World Cup, July also sees the entirety of the gruelling Tour de France occur, with cyclists covering 3,351 miles over mountain, mud and moorland between the 7th and 29th July. Wimbledon also arrives in a landslide of strawberries and cream for its yearly bout of captivating tennis. Other sporting events include both England Men’s and Women’s cricket teams competing for international domination, as well as the British Grand Prix kicking off at Silverstone on the 8th. Now, here at WA Management, we don’t expect you to become a honed and lycra-clad cyclist capable of scaling the Pyrenees by the end of July. However, this research blog looks to shed light on the tangible benefits that promoting sport in the workplace can have – both on the physical and mental wellbeing of your employees.

Indeed, a recent report by analytical firm Core HR highlighted how 42% of employees across a multitude of sectors believe that work negatively impedes upon their personal life. This figure rose worryingly to 49% of workers between the ages of 25-34, highlighting that the technology-driven modern workplace is amplifying issues of stress, instead of reducing them. The most interesting statistic that arose out of Core HR’s report, however, was that 61% believe that achieving a suitable work-life balance was a shared responsibility between employee and employer. Mental wellbeing is thus a concern for all and is not set to diminish in importance any time soon.

But how does sport tie to physical and mental wellbeing?

            The connection between sport and mental wellness is proven and measurable, with a survey by the Department of Health indicating that regular exercise helped to decrease signs of depression by up to 30%. Furthermore, high-intensity exercise can release feel-good endorphins, whilst increasing personal confidence and self-esteem. Those that feel physically vitalised are more likely to open and constructive, as well as having more consistent levels of concentration throughout the day. Promoting sport has manifold benefits.

Why is it beneficial to encourage sport specifically in the workplace? Conclusions and ideas:

            Beyond the immediate rewards outlined above, sport in the workplace helps to promote:

  • Inclusion and diversity – getting everyone involved regardless of age or ability
  • Healthy competition – fast-paced problem-solving and adaptability to find the best solution
  • Communication – sport encourages vertical and horizontal integration within companies
  • Team-Building – creates camaraderie and cohesion, provoking constructive conversations

Encouraging sport in the workplace does not have to be costly of time-consuming, it can be as little as promoting a 30 minute walk after lunch, or team-based sport at the weekend. By creating initiatives that are accessible, inclusive and enjoyable, everyone in the workplace can feel the benefit of sport.

Why not use the fantastic summer of sport to try something new this week?


Read more HERE or at SHPOnline

Click HERE to access MIND Charity, a fantastic source for those dealing with mental health concerns. Always dealt with dignity and compassion.

Click HERE to head to BBC Sport, to keep up-to-date with the inspirational summer of sport

Read the report by CoreHR HERE