Healthy employees are more productive

Employees who are healthy and motivated are more likely to be productive on the job, it has been suggested. Kevin Friery, Clinical Director at Right Management Workplace Wellness, was speaking in response to a new study from Tel Aviv University, which found being unfit can take its toll on a person's mental health.

According to the research, which has been published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, failure to attend the gym can lead to depression and greater burnout rates in the office.

Mr Friery pointed out a staff member who is fit and active is likely to work at over 90 per cent productivity, while a person who is de-motivated will rarely reach levels greater than 50 per cent.

He described it as a simple process of those who live well, achieve more, adding: "An employer who understands this and approaches it strategically will achieve an 80 per cent productivity boost without any additional recruitment."

Kisane Prutton, Chartered Psychologist, commented: "We've long known that physical and mental health is connected. What we are less clear about is the contribution to mental well-being of cardiovascular exercise, requiring a hard, sweaty workout, compared with respite exercise, such as a gentle walk in a park.

"The research from Tel Aviv demonstrates a link between depression and job burnout - their study focused on exercise of the cardiovascular nature.

"Work-related stress and depression is costly to the individual, to their organisation and to the economy. As the researchers from Tel Aviv suggest, organisations would be wise to invest in their employees' health, whether that is in terms of access to the gym, or a green space, remains to be established. Four hours a week in the gym may not be an appropriate prescription for everyone. Or four hours a week in the gym may not be everyone's cup of tea."