In the early 90’s The Office Personal Management (OPM) created a program that will allow government employees to participate in a Civilian Fitness Program. This program granted 3 hours per work for the employee to be excused from work to participate in a fitness program of their choice. Unfortunately, at the Department of State, this program has not been enforced for an employee to use. It may be greatly possible that the director is unaware of the program or maybe not educated on the benefits of the employees and himself.
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The agencies that implemented this program have seen better output and production from their employees. As industries change so should organizations, failure to adapt to the ongoing changes will result in a turnover of employees and less production (Morales, 2018). To help improve the overall experience for employees working for the Department of State directors should look into implementing the Civilian Fitness Program. See improvements from employees after implementing the Fitness Program:
- Productivity Increase– Employees are able to focus better after working out.
- Moral Increase– Employees see that their organization cares for their health and well-being.
- Longevity of Workforce- Exercise can decrease certain health risk, which can in turn increase life expectancy.
It is no new news that people in different homes are spending huge amount of money in furnishing their homes with various fitness apparatus and equipment to stay fit. Those that cannot afford the price of this fitness equipment will enroll in a gym house where all the equipment are made available and are accessible once they have registered. There are several reasons people take their time to engage in various kind of fitness activities which may include; to stay fit, keep the body shape in form, reduce excessive fat, and to some it has been seen as a way of life. Moreover, people with good body shape and structure have increased ego and confidence. Thus some people engage in fitness activities cause of this. However, it is evident that each reason for engaging in several fitness activities have health implication attached to each of them. It has been made generally known that several diseases are associated with people that are generally inactive and participate less in fitness activities. Coronary heart diseases have been found to be a major cause of death in the United States, and this can in a way attributed to the inactivity of the citizens and less participation in fitness activities (Sarah, 1995). However, this disease can be reduced by regular physical activities (Sarah, 1995). The health hazards associated with overweight raised the alarm to various people in such category. Although having a high body mass index is not a perfect indicator of being unhealthy, but it increases the risk factors for several chronic diseases. It is a general fact that as the body mass index (BMI) increases the health risk increases, i.e., a person fat has six times the tendency to have high blood pressure than a normal weighted person.
There has been a few or limited organization that understands the essence of fitness in their workers, and as result, only a few have successfully implemented it as a schedule for the workers to have time for fitness activities. This unawareness of the employers is becoming an alarming issue as there have been several disease and numerous problem aside health issue that is connected to workers fitness in-activities. It has been made evident that workers that do not engage fitness activities are prone to have musculoskeletal disorder. This may be due to the excess and abdominal strength stress on the low back. Problems such as carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) may also develop in workers that are fat and are inactive (Fred et al., 2006). All these problems, in turn, lead to health problems of the workers and in turn, leads to low productivity of the workers and at large affect the company as a whole. However, there has been a remarkable outcome from companies that practiced and produce a conducive environment for their workers to perform in fitness activities. Some of the benefits they enjoyed are; healthy workers, increased or stable productivity, the dedication of workers to work, absenteeism, reduced health care cost, and improved ability of the company to employ more workers cause of increased productivity.
Due to the various reasons mentioned above, it has been made evident that in any organization that incorporates fitness time into the organization schedule several advantages are benefited by such companies and at large will lead to increased productivity for the company. It is, however, important to state that such program would start to yield a result at the onset of the introduction of the program. Hence most organization that implement such ideas do start as quick as they are aware of the benefits.
There have been several companies that invested a huge amount of money in fitness activity for their workers with the main aim of increasing the company’s productivity by improving the worker’s health. It was recorded that Kimberly-Clark spent $2.5 million to build a fitness facility for her workers, American Can Cooperation annually pend $60,000 on her fitness facility in headquarters (Aghop et al., 1986). It was also recorded that huge amount of money spent on health-care was reduced as a result of the promotion in the various fitness activities made available by such organizations.
The Problem of Unfitness at the Workplace and the Need for Investigation
Most employees spend most of their time at their workplace and thus are unable to set apart time for their physical fitness. The limitation of time may lead to poor health which in turn leads to reduced productivity hence leading to more expenses to the employer. According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention statistics in 2011 heart disease is one of the three killers. Many of the deaths can easily be preventable (Camera and Smiles, 2018). Regular exercise is one of the means to drastically reduce the rate of unfitness related diseases. Given how important one’s overall health, it is worth giving more attention to exercise in a place where nearly everyone spends a chunk of days’ time. As a result of the current high levels of heart-related due to unfitness, there is need to carry out an investigation on the issue to determine the need to have time for exercise.
In the modern day, lifestyle diseases have become common. Having unhealthy food habits and living lifestyle makes more and more employees diabetic, get hypertension and others. At later stages, such diseases may turn to serious ailments related to the heart. The result is unproductive workers. The affected employees will incur high costs based on health-related expenditures at work and also increased absenteeism (Chamberlain, 2015). The study is essential for the workplace given the economic impacts of the fitness program and the promotion of wellness among workers.
Secondary Research I Have Conducted about the Problem
There are different secondary sources used in conducting the research. The information evaluated includes physical activity and human health journals, different papers from conferences relating to the matter and various databases. Nevertheless, the available research is not much experienced in secondary research as a result of different difficulties experienced by researchers in conducting analysis thus the need to have primary research.
Primary Research that Will Be Used to Conduct the Research
There may be the need to consult primary research. To conduct the primary research, a randomized uncontrolled study of about thirty workers will be carried out for a period of three months to evaluate the fitness program. The measurements after the program will be, fat percentage, heart rate, blood pressure, and body mass. For the purpose of statistical analysis, both the intent-to-treat analysis and t-test will be used. The consent of the participants will be appraised.
The process of data tabulation and analysis will be performed by using the software statistical package for social sciences. To compare the initial and final values of the measurements taken, the mean, the standard deviation of the paired sample and the t-test will be calculated.
The Benefits of the research authorization
The organization is likely to benefit from the research in various ways. The research on the need to have an hour of fitness will enhance self-development of the employees through the process of training and monitoring. It is a way of assessing the management performance, re-engineering process, and the well-being of the workers (Schwarz and Lindfors, 2015).
The research will bring about both relevant and meaningful policies and procedures implementation which would result in positive change in the organization. These positive results include job satisfaction, self-efficacy, improved productivity and job performance, cost-effectiveness, boosting of workers morale as the fitness would help keep the body structure in shape and other intangible benefits.
Preliminary Ideas for Solving This Problem
Fitness is one of the excellent ways to stave off unproductivity and illness. A healthy body and mind result in positive results of disease prevention. It is possible to make the organization a campus of activity. For instance, the organization may choose to add bike racks and areas where the workers may freshen up after the fitness activities.
It is important for the company to make the program voluntary but at the same time sensitizing the resisting employees on the need of participating. This way, the employees will likely to fully participate and become motivated in ensuring the success of the program. It is important to encourage the employees to come up with exercise clubs. Also, occasionally the company may choose to have a walking meeting instead of having the common boardroom meeting
However, it will require more than pamphlets, sensitization, and construction of fitness center for workers to motivate the entire workforce in an organization towards fitness and health; there are several other activities that need to be put in-place. Some of the efforts that need to be put in-place includes;
Initiation of Culture Change by Senior Management
To achieve this, senior management needs to set the priority as regarding the fitness activities, make conducive environment available, provide training, system and support integration. It should also be ensured that the safety conditions and regularization should be put into place. All this, however, should be incorporated into the existing organization system. If all these are ensured workers participation can reach nearly 100%.
Every organization activity requires thorough supervision, as such the fitness program should be thoroughly supervised. Often time the enthusiasm of the supervisor and the energy he puts into the program will determine the success of the program. Positive input from the supervisor will bring about the success of the program. Hence, the supervisor should inculcate positive input.
Integrated System that is Built on Team Work
The success of the fitness program will be dependent on the team work incorporated by each time this is because the team formed from the workers of same organization will generate team power. The team formed will improve communication among team mates for better safety and healthy activities, the team members will come up with common goals, the team will help strengthen the weak ones by encouragement, and the team will provide recognition for each member. All these are the advantages that can be benefited from forming a team.
Program that Targets the Whole Employee
This is needed to ensure all the worker in the organization participate to achieve maximum involvement in an integrated fitness and safety initiative. The fitness must target all muscle area, the hand, legs, back, and the tommy.
Continuous Change in the Exercise Routine
It is evident in several fitness programs is the high rate of dropout in the fitness program. To avoid this disinterest in the workers, the fitness program needs to be changed constantly either every month or 2 months. This will help create interest in the participant as they will be enthusiastic to participate in the new fitness to be introduced.
Constant monitoring is needed to ensure that all that has been learned will be incorporated into every day to day activities of the workers. Furthermore, this is needed to constantly monitor the participation of both senior managements and the junior staffs, and access the safety performance log of the fitness. This will help introduce better safety measure if the need arises.
Recommendation and Action Step
It has been made evident from findings above and other researches that fitness activities help maintain the employee’s good health, increase productivity, increase workers ego and help them to focus more on the target before them which will, in turn, produce increased productivity. The review has also shown the amount of money saved on health care by investing in fitness activities. However, to achieve this, some other factors must also be put in order to enhance proper integration of fitness activity into the organization. Hence, based on this I recommended that;
- Proper monitoring of both senior management and junior staffs should be ensured
- Workers should be grouped into teams to enhance better overall participation and encouragement of those that are unwilling to participate
- Constant change of the fitness activities should be ensured to avoid been bored by the participants and always stir up the enthusiasm to participate in the new set of activities that will be introduced
- Proper safety measure should be put in place because every fitness activity has several hazards associated with it.
- The fitness activity should be outlined in a way that will benefit all the employees and interest them
- Safety training should be given to the employees on how to perform first aid treatment in case of emergency during training.
In conclusion, physical unfitness has led to major problems in the workplace. These problems include unproductivity of the workers which in turn leads to economic difficulties for the organization. There is thus the need to have fitness hour of fitness of the employees. In addition, it leads to more self-confidence and concentration in their assignments as compared to others inactive workers.
- Aghop, D., and Norma G. (1986). Effect of Physical Fitness Program In The Workplace. Journal of Business And Psychology, Volume 1, No. 1, pp. 51-60.
- Camera, D. M., & Smiles, W. J. (2018).Autophagy, Exercise, and Lifestyle Modification.Autophagy and Cardiometabolic Diseases, 305-314. doi:10.1016/b978-0-12805253-2.00025-0
- Chamberlain, J. M. (2015). Fitness to practise in the workplace: Medical revalidation. Medical Regulation, Fitness To Practice and Revalidation, pp. 23-58. doi:10.1332/policypress/9781447325444.003.0002
- Fred, S. D, James, D. R., and David R. (2006). Integrating Employee Safety & Fitness A model for meeting NIOSH’s Steps to a Healthier U.S. Workforce challenge, pp. 1-11.
- Morales, A. (2018). How Can Businesses Adapt To A Rapidly Changing World? Retrieved from Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2018/01/05/how-can-businesses-adaptto-a-rapidly-changing-world/#7fec814a5930
- Peter, E. M. (1992). ‘Work’ or ‘leisure’? The protestant work ethic and participation in an employee fitness program. Journal of Organizational Behavior, Vol. 13, pp. 81-88.
- Sarah, L. (1995). Employees On The Move. The University of New Mexico, Center for Health Promotion, NE – Surge Bldg, pp. 1-13.
- Schwarz, U. V., &Lindfors, P. (2015). Improved fitness after a workbased physical exercise program.International Journal of Workplace Health Management,8(1), pp. 61-74. doi:10.1108/ijwhm-10-2013-0038
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