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Staying active for health, but also for business productivity

by the Comité assurance de la Fédération des kinésiologues du Québec.

Kinesiologists are your employees’ best health allies. Did you know that a work environment that encourages a healthy lifestyle and physical activity keeps employees performing well and creates a healthy, supportive atmosphere?

A workplace that promotes physical activity also attracts and retains quality staff, which improves the organization's social environment and reputation.
 
Physical activity benefits employees both biologically and psychologically.
 
Its biological effects impact all of the systems in the human body. For example, physical activity increases the volume of blood pumped through the cardiovascular system. In addition, feeling “in shape” and being physically active reduces the risk of catching a cold by 50% and shortens the duration of symptoms by approximately four days.1 Better yet, the severity of symptoms is also reduced by 41% for people who feel healthy and by 31% for people who are physically active.
 
Not to mention the psychological benefits of exercising, including reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety and better stress management.2
 
Conversely, inactivity has its share of repercussions.

Inactivity affects mental health, among other things, which can result in psychosocial problems.3 The major consequences of inactivity with respect to psychosocial effects are decreased motivation, a poor mood and absenteeism.4
 
Physical effects and benefits in the workplace
 
According to research led by the University of Alberta, employees that participate in physical activity programs suffer 25% fewer workplace injuries.5 In fact, healthy employees are less likely to get injured and more likely to recover quickly. As a result, physical activity reduces the cost of sick leave and ultimately costs to the company.
 
The cost of disability
 
With the ageing of the Canadian population, employers must compensate with benefits to retain its employees, who will eventually need more care. In contrast, according to the Alberta Centre for Active Living, a regularly active workforce requires between 14% and 25% fewer disability days, which reduces workers' compensation costs by 45%.5
 
The economic benefits of moving more

 
Health Canada reports that daily physical activity increases employee performance between 4% and 15%. In addition, according to BC Hydro, sick leave costs are reduced by $1.2 million when physical activity programs are implemented in the workplace.6
 
Hold onto your employees with the help of a kinesiologist
 
A kinesiologist is a health professional that specializes in physical activity. After assessing a person's physical condition and health determinants, as well as the person's movement dynamics, kinesiologists are able to establish a plan for treatment and intervention through physical activity. They also oversee their implementation with the aim of improving or restoring the person’s health.
 
This is the service that a kinesiologist can provide to your employees and company.
 
One of the kinesiologist's goals is to help participants independently continue exercising regularly and safely. Within the context of your business, a kinesiologist also helps to restore employees’ ability to work and to correct and improve their ergonomics and work technique. Personalized consultation and follow-up services are offered to improve employees’ health and physical abilities and to prevent injuries or promote a return to work following an injury.
 
A kinesiologist contributes to your organization’s mission, specifically in relation to your commitments to workplace healthy and safety.
 

  • They can contribute to the implementation of healthful solutions to help your company improve its organizational performance.
  • They can also help identify positive strategies to adopt the best lifestyle habits and improve your employees’ health or prevent certain illnesses. 
  • Kinesiologists see physical activity and exercise as a way of managing or treating health problems.

In addition, they provide training on work techniques. For example, they can implement an occupational health prevention program including active breaks and warm-up periods at work.

 
Lastly, they can conduct pre-employment assessments and offer task-specific training to improve work performance and prevent injuries.
 
As an employer, you are fundamental to promoting a healthy lifestyle.
 
After all, a company’s culture starts with its decision-makers. Taking time for physical activity saves time on absenteeism management. A fit worker also recovers much more quickly from all types of injuries and health problems.
 
You can make a kinesiologist available to your employees by adding them to your group insurance plan, a step that doesn't cost much but which provides numerous benefits to your company. The Fédération des kinésiologues du Québec will provide you with the documentation necessary to expedite the processing of your request to include kinesiology services in your group insurance plan.
 
Find your kinesiologist in the Fédération des kinésiologues du Québec
 
The Fédération des kinésiologues du Québec is a non-profit organization, bringing together more than 1,000 accredited kinesiologists. To ensure that its kinesiologists offer quality professional services, the Federation has high accreditation requirements. Once all of its requirements have been met, the Federation grants the accredited member confirmation of practice as a certified kinesiologist, thus ensuring, among other things, the right to issue receipts to various insurance companies. Consult the online directory to find your accredited kinesiologist.
 
References
 
1. Pratiquer une activité physique aide à combattre le rhume. (2010, November 02). Source: Le Monde.fr: https://www.lemonde.fr/planete/article/2010/11/02/pratiquer-une-activite-physique-aide-a-combattre-le-rhume_1434134_3244.html#VB8LqGV7VqBZ2PZr.99
 
2. Knöchel, C., Oetel-Knöchel, V., O’Dwyer, L., Prvulovic, D., Alves, G., Kollmann, B., & Hampel, H. (2012, January). Cognitive and behavioural effects of physical exercise in psychiatric patients. Progress in Neurobiology, 96(1), 46-68. doi:10.1016/j.pneurobio.2011.11.007
 
3. Sittarame, F., & Golay, A. (2013). Comportement d’inactivité physique: une réponse adaptive inappropriée au maintien de la santé dans nos sociétés? 9, 679-683. Source: Revue Médicale Suisse: https://www.revmed.ch/RMS/2013/RMS-379/Comportement-d-inactivite-physique-une-reponse-adaptative-inappropriee-au-maintien-de-la-sante-dans-nos-societes
 
4. Bernard, M. (2015, February 11). La France championne du Stress en entreprise? Des solutions existent. Source: Les Coachs d’Entreprises de l’Ouest: https://www.coachsdentreprises.com/la-france-championne-du-stress-en-entreprise-des-solutions-existent/
 
5. L’activité physique à l’ouvrage. (2008). Source: Alberta Centre for Active Living: https://sites.ualberta.ca/~active/louvrage/commencer/bienfaits-de-base.html
 
6. Active Living At Work, Canadian business case studies, Public Health Canada.
 

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