Employee exercise programs may increase productivity: study

Stockholm – Reducing work hours to allow for an employee exercise program may be beneficial to a company’s bottom line, suggests a Swedish study released Aug. 15.

As part of the study, employees at a large public dental health organization in Sweden were separated into three groups. One group was required to participate in 2.5 hours of exercise per week, conducted during normal working hours; a second group was assigned reduced hours without mandatory exercise; and a third group worked normal hours with no required exercise.

Researchers found that employees who were assigned to the mandatory exercise program self-reported significant increases in productivity and had fewer work absences related to illness. Productivity seemed to stem from higher output during working hours and fewer missed workdays.

The study was published in the August issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

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