Health and Wellness

Under pressure? Four exercise apps to energise you and your team today

We all know it’s important to look after our health and wellbeing - so why do we so often neglect it while we’re at work?

Well, I am sure for many of you it feels like there simply aren’t the hours in the day between the myriad of e-mails, calls and meetings, to even take a moment for yourself. Let alone go for a run, walk or gym class to help you clear your head.

And while this might feel like the new norm, as nobody ever takes a lunch break or leaves on time in your organisation, the impact of neglecting your health while at work cannot be underestimated.

Why? Well, because when pressure mounts, so too does stress. And too much stress can quickly turn into anxiety, resulting in a big drop in productivity. This means that despite all the extra hours you’re putting in, you’re actually producing less… 

In fact, work-related stress costs the UK £6.5 billion per year, with millions of people taking days off sick, productivity falling and staff moving on, in an attempt to strike a better balance.

So, what can you do to ensure you’re striking a more a healthy work-life balance? 

Exercise is a great place to start, with reports showing that people who exercise every day reduce their risk of anxiety and stress levels by more than 40%. And while we understand that exercising everyday might not be feasible for everyone, there are some great apps out there you can use alongside health trackers (such as Samsung Health) to help you get going and improve morale within your office.

Look at these four below:

1.  Get yourself moving – Social fitness app Stridekick allows you to set team challenges to get your colleagues on their feet. By using Stridekick to count steps, your team can participate in a range of different challenges, from competing to take the most steps to setting daily personal targets. It’s a well-known fact that exercise does wonders when it comes to reducing stress, but did you know that it can also have a great impact on learning, memory and concentration? So why not encourage your employees to take part in some friendly competition to get the blood flowing this summer.  

2.  Do it for a reason – Charity Miles is an app that gives money to charity every time you run, walk, swim or cycle a mile. The more miles you do, the more is donated to charity. This app is perfect for the office as it allows you to set up leader boards and competitions to see who has raised the most. And what’s more? Donations come from pre-committed corporate sponsors, meaning all you need to do is get your trainers on to contribute to a good cause.

3.  Awareness – OK, so this one isn’t about exercise necessarily but it’s arguably the most important of the four. Awareness is a programme that tells you when you’ve been staring at your phone / computer screen for too long without taking a break. And with regular breaks proven to improve productivity in the workplace, you should make you and everyone your team has this one downloaded.

4.  Get some down time – After your long days of work (and of competing with your colleagues to be the most active!) it’s essential to make sure that you’re getting that hard-earned shuteye. Sleep Cycle tracks your sleep, allowing you to make sure you’re getting enough rest; and wakes you during a lighter period of sleep, making sure that you feel ready to conquer the business world from the moment you wake up.

Exercise isn’t the answer to every problem in the working world but it’s a great place to start for anyone looking to improve their work / life balance, productivity and energy levels.

So, if you or anyone on your team is struggling to get motivated, make sure you encourage them to look at the four apps we’ve recommended and let them take a big step in the right direction.

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