When most people think about corporate offices or workplaces, fitness is not necessarily the first thing that comes to mind. Many of my colleagues spend our days sitting at our desks looking at computer screens, and a few even eat their lunch at their desks.

However, encouraging fitness in the workplace is tremendously beneficial for both companies and employees. The endorphins released during exercise mean staff have more self-confidence and energy, they have more of a positive attitude when at work, and they are less stressed too. It is for this reason that employers play such a crucial role in helping to facilitate positive health changes.

Fit employees are also much less likely to get sick – with the weather in the UAE going from the high forties to the ice-cold air-conditioned offices, those who don’t look after themselves and exercise regularly are far more likely to fall ill. Encouraging exercise amongst staff could not only lead to a fall in the number of people calling in sick, it could also have an effect on long-term absenteeism too.

Camaraderie is harder to measure, but it is also a significant advantage of a workplace fitness program. A greater sense of workplace fraternity is a natural extension of participating in an employee fitness program. Employees who exercise together, get to know each other better and those enhanced relationships translate into all kinds of benefits. Workers get to interact with one other in a setting apart from the tension of work and have conversations that they may not have had otherwise in their usual environment. These relationships help build a company culture of cooperation that can result in increased loyalty and overall gratitude that employees feel toward their boss. That atmosphere of teamwork translates into the community and reflects well on the whole organization.

I love to run because I enjoy the relentless comforting monotony of the track session, bashing out endless training reps of 400 or 800 or 1200/1600 meters. I love the broken-up toughness of a hill session – run up, jog down. I love a long and steady run up to 38km in the early hours of the morning at the weekend.
Running teaches me about discipline, persistence, determination, and grit. Running arms you with the life skills for success. Overcoming the naysayers, believing in yourself when others do not, defying the odds and sticking to your plan, Goal setting… one step at a time!

There are many different ways for employers to encourage their staff to keep fit, regardless of company size. Even in small companies, there are very simple, low-maintenance ways to promote workplace fitness. You could set up a company sports team, or encourage staff to commit to taking part in one of the UAE’s many fitness challenges.

The NBF Fujairah Run is an excellent way to get your employees to get fit, get active and have fun. Whether you’re a beginner or a professional runner, the course has a 3km, 5km or 10km route. The coast of Fujairah sits on the Gulf of Oman, the beach landscape is very different to Dubai. It’s a beautiful place not only to run but also to visit. The beaches in Fujairah are quieter than the beaches in Dubai. The Fujairah Fort is the oldest fort in the UAE. There are a couple of beautiful wadis located in Fujairah, amongst the Hajar Mountains. This year’s NBF Fujairah Run will not only be a fun experience for the runners but also for the family and friends in town supporting. Fujairah has something for everyone.

Adopting a healthier lifestyle is ultimately an individual decision. However, it is important that we recognise employer excellence for those who showcase commitment to achieving a healthier future for the citizens of the UAE. ■

NBF Fujairah Run 2017
When: 1st December
Where: Fujairah
Contact: www.premieronline.com

Words by: Fredrik Jonsson