Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Fit For Work

I’ve blogged before about not getting a lot of free time – and liking it that way. For me, work-life integration is about finding compelling work and devoting everything I have to performing at peak. So it’s interesting to read that the American College of Sports Medicine’s top 20 predicted worldwide fitness trends for 2011 includes, for the first time, workplace fitness incentive programmes.

These programmes are backed up by a sound business case – think enhanced camaraderie and morale, reduced absenteeism, improved productivity and decreased health care costs. There’s something evolutionary “at work” here too. This trend is further evidence of silos breaking down between work and private life.

Even more fundamentally, the trend is hooking into a fundamental secret to our psychological states. People are happiest living in the moment – such as when they are playing sport or exercising – not worrying about before or daydreaming about what comes after what comes next. Being in the now is instinctive and intuitive. It’s the place where sport happens, the place where life excites, the place where emotion rules.

Google has taken hold of this concept. Of the top ten reasons for joining its team (note the terminology: it’s “life at Google”, not “getting a job at Google”), number four is: “Work and play are not mutually exclusive. It is possible to code and pass the puck at the same time.”

I love it. I recently spoke at Oxylane, a leading French company who deeply grasp the concept of happiness through sport, and have the joy of making people’s lives better by supporting their physical health. They manufacture more sporting goods than anyone else in Europe and have an inspired vision: nobody should miss out on the pleasure and benefits of sport. It seems the world is catching on.

PS for the full list of global fitness trends go here. And if you’re looking for something family friendly, call by Together Counts.