One of the main problems with office jobs is their static nature. Research shows that employees who work within an office environment are much more likely to suffer from health problems such as obesity and back pain. Whilst sitting at a desk all day is often unavoidable, there are many things an employer can do to help employees beat off the effects of stationary working.
Healthcare professionals recommend that to stay healthy, adults should do at least 2.5 hours of exercise every week. Whilst obviously you can’t force your employees to keep fit, by offering wellbeing benefits, you can encourage employees to lead an active lifestyle.
One of the most popular fitness benefits at the moment is a cycle-to-work scheme. According to NHS Choices, cycling is the third most popular recreational activity in the UK, with an estimated 3.1 million people riding a bike each month. Last year also saw a significant increase in the amount of people using their bikes for the commute to work, as a more affordable, healthy and environmentally friendly alternative to driving or public transport. As high quality bikes and safety equipment are often expensive, the savings provided by a cycle-to-work scheme has proved to be one appreciated by many.
Cycle-to-work schemes offer tax and National Insurance savings on the cost of the bike and safety accessories, which can knock up to 42% off the price. Employees are able to choose equipment up to the value of £1,000, and also benefit from being able to spread the cost over a period of a year or 18 months. It’s not just employees who feel the benefit either. As an employer offering a cycle-to-work scheme, you can make National Insurance savings too, and will also feel the perks of having a healthier workforce, such as reduced absenteeism and employees with increased energy levels and self-confidence.
It’s true what they say – a healthy body equals a healthy mind. In addition to the physical benefits of regular exercise, it can also help to reduce anxiety and lower peoples’ risk of mental health conditions such as depression. Providing your employees with something different to focus on in their recreational time can also help them to switch off, reducing stress and leaving their minds fresh for the next working day.