Do you ever wonder if it makes sense to start exercising now, at this age? Perhaps you were never an athlete, or were once active but got stuck in the grind of everyday life, and getting to the gym just slipped to the bottom of your priorities. How on earth can you get back in to things? You’ve lost so much time. You feel so out of shape. Is it even worth trying?
The answer is a resounding “yes.” Here’s why.
Thrilling new research
New research published by JAMA Network Open1 studied 315,000 participants and found that maintaining physical activity from adolescence into later adulthood was associated with 29% to 36% lower risk for all-cause mortality. It also found that that being inactive but then increasing physical activity during midlife resulted in 30% to 35% lower risk of mortality.
What this means is that becoming active later in adulthood may provide similar health benefits as if you were active your entire life.
What this means for employers
This is great news for employers. You can positively impact employees’ health and well-being just by helping them learn how to move more and add exercise to their daily activity.
Only one in five Americans meet the minimum federal government guidelines for physical activity. The opportunity to start reaping health benefits is huge, especially now that we know it doesn’t matter at what age they get started.
How to help your employees get moving
There are many tips and tactics you can follow. Getting started simply means meeting employees where they are, rather than imposing a one-size-fits-all approach, having unrealistic expectations or shaming your slow starters.
Offer something for everyone
No matter their interest or current activity level, you can help someone become engaged. You don’t necessarily need a fully staffed fitness facility on-site. You can provide guidance and assistance to both your new and wanna-be exercisers while supporting the seasoned veterans to ensure they stay engaged and don’t get bored or burned out.
What to look for in a vendor partner
Many vendors are jumping on the fitness bandwagon, so how can you best evaluate what would be best for your employees?
Look for a vendor that:
- Will tailor their offering to your unique culture and the diverse needs of your workforce.
- Provides everything from fashionable fitness activities to tried-and-true basics.
- Starts by understanding your business, your organization’s health risks, your health and wellness strategy to date and your unique culture.
For your fitness-specific needs, the Optum On-Site Fitness Solution offers all of this and more. To learn more and start your workforce on a new movement journey, visit optum.com.
1 Saint-Maurice PF, Coughlan D, Kelly SP, et al. Association of Leisure-Time Physical Activity Across the Adult Life Course With All-Cause and Cause-Specific Mortality. JAMA Network Open. 2019;2(3):e190355. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.0355. jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2727269. Accessed March 28, 2019.
About the Author
On-Site Fitness Product Director for Optum
Michelle has been in the fitness industry for over 15 years — in both commercial and corporate fitness. In her current role at Optum, she supports the sales team and each of our nearly 300 clients. Michelle has her BA from Rutgers. She and her husband share their love of fitness with their young daughter and son.