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How Exercise Can Lead To Better Employee Performance

Are your employees consistently low on energy, missing deadlines and just delivering sub-par work? 

Whether you’re a business owner or a supervisor of a team, there’s nothing more frustrating than seeing the people in your organization underperform; especially when you, as a leader, can’t pinpoint the reason why.

From something as small as constant tardiness and delayed email responses to unfinished tasks, time is money – and it’s costing you.

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In fact, a study by the CCAP (Contact Center Association of the Philippines) shows that only 29% of employees are actively engaged in the workplace. To put this into perspective, a 2020 study estimates productivity losses from a migraine alone can range from 27,794 to 41,280 PHP annually, depending on the severity of the case.

Employee performance and exercise

While regular exercise is something we acknowledge is good for us as individuals, the effect of staying active and maintaining our health is often overlooked when looking at how this relates to a company’s performance.

Health definitely is wealth as far as productivity is concerned, and exercise has repeatedly been shown to increase employee performance on both a macro and micro level.

The former is exactly what a 2020 paper found; projecting the global economic benefits of staying active by looking at data from 120,143 individuals across 74 prior studies.

It was found that just doing the 150 mins of moderate-intensity exercise recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) alone would lead to a 0.15-0.24% increase in global GDP – a whopping $314-446 billion USD per year and $6-8.6 trillion USD over the next 30 years!

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Now you may be thinking – “But does this directly affect my company?”

Yes, productivity losses due to employees’ sedentary lifestyles are real. According to UNICEF, obesity among adults in the country has almost doubled since 1998; from 20.2% in 1998 to 36.6% as of 2019. 40.6% of Filipinos were considered inactive as of the same year.

While we may not see the effect of this immediately, something as simple as keeping employees active leads to increased workplace productivity. This has been shown by a 2015 study examining the link between exercise, mental well-being and the performance of employees, as well as another 2017 study showing a “sit less, move more” program to have improved productivity in the workplace.

Exercise has also been proven to improve cognitive performance as shown in a 2013 study wherein even 15 minutes of moderate-intensity cycling already led to improvements regardless of age.

Similar findings were found in a 2016 study examining exercise intensity’s effect on cognitive performance changes. While improvements can be seen across all groups, moderate-intensity exercise was found to enhance executive action better, while high-intensity exercise was seen to work better for improving reaction time; something later confirmed in a 2019 study.

Keeping Employees Fit and Reducing Medical Costs

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Prevention is better than cure, and combating a sedentary lifestyle will directly improve employee performance and promote better attendance and minimize opportunity costs from sick leaves.

Physical activity not only improves someone’s thinking and learning skills while promoting mental well-being and prevents severe illnesses such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer and diabetes. In fact, insufficiently active people have a 20-30% higher risk of death than those who get enough exercise.

How to get started with an exercise routine

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Saying “you just need to work out” is much easier said than done. For one, most people just won’t know where to start; much less come up with an appropriate workout routine they can sustain long-term.

Here are some quick tips to help you get your employees to stick to a regular workout routine:

1. Having an in-office gym

Nothing brings fitness and convenience together more than actually having your own corporate gym exclusive to your employees – especially in a place like Metro Manila where traveling during the rush hour is often the last thing anyone would wanna so … especially if you drive!

Not only do employees save on gym memberships, but actually have enough time to get a workout in despite a busy schedule.

While this is the most expensive option on this list, having a corporate gym will ultimately pay off in the long run by cutting healthcare costs, improving employee productivity and promoting a better work-life balance – which according to the “Talent Trends 2022 Report”, is something 73% of working Filipinos would be willing to forgo higher salaries and promotions for.

2. Corporate gym memberships

While a corporate gym is beneficial in the long run, it’s also unrealistic to think all companies have the financial capacity to construct their own gym, especially startups and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)

This is where a corporate gym can be an option – wherein employees either get full membership as part of their benefits or a discounted rate with a partnered gym.

3. Fitness classes

Do you enjoy working out with friends? Maybe the option to have group classes would work better for some of your more outgoing employees who’d prefer working out with their coworkers.

If anything, this may even push some to work harder, according to a study by the University of Pennsylvania. Training with a “workout buddy” can make you push 20% harder, which goes up to 42% when with a group!


As difficult as it may be to think of anything other than your own tasks when placed under pressure, we as business leaders have to always look at the bigger picture and understand that so much more goes into productivity than technical skills and an employee’s character. External factors such as physical and mental health will play a significant role not only in improving employee performance but also save you both medical costs and the cost of training new hires following a resignation.

Finding ways to promote health and fitness in the workplace is key to building your organization’s corporate culture, ultimately setting you up for long-term success.

Contact Us

To know more ways to keep your team productive in the office, feel free to reach out to us at HoliFit – the number one corporate wellness company in Manila.

If you’re interested in more and you’d like to set a meeting with us you can contact us at and discover how HoliFit can help your business reach its goals. You can also check out our Facebook page, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Youtube Channel for more information about our services.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity. To find out how HoliFit can help your business reach its goals through Fitness Classes contact us today!

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Keep your best people

Studies have shown that proper employee engagement can generate as much as 33% savings from lowered attrition alone.

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