Why the CEO Should Be the Most Physically Active in the Company

By Tom Bosna – Managing Director

Over the past year I have had the pleasure of working with some truly inspiring CEOs and senior leaders in progressive and innovative Australian businesses.

I’ve been blown away by the commitment to wellbeing that I’ve seen. Being leaders in their company, the example that each of these individuals are setting for their people has made a very real impression on me.

Firstly, for the fact that they are investing the time in energy in bettering the lives of their workers. But also, that they are each treating wellness as more than just a people strategy. It has been so encouraging to see leaders take a real interest in creating a culture that cares and creates healthier individuals.

One of the biggest trends I have noted in my experience is that when the CEO and senior leaders are physically active – they statistically have a more engaged workplace and healthier company profile.

While the benefits of being physically active are pretty clear as mentioned in my previously articles – reduced risk of stroke, cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, obesity, depression and some forms of cancer. The benefits of having a physically fit and active CEO and senior leadership team are ground-breaking. In practical terms, the ripple effect on the entire organisation is positively linked with great performance and engagement. So, let’s dive in…

 

3 reasons senior leaders should be the most physically active in the organisation

 

Performance Perks

The organisations that had physically active leaders have been found to be more satisfied with their own performance as a team. With a leader that exercised at least five times a week for over 30 mins at moderate exertion, researchers noticed that employees worked smarter and had reduced rates of absenteeism compared to the less active teams.

In my opinion, if the CEO is physically active and is able to discuss the benefits openly in conversation, the entire organisation can benefit. The physical, social and psychological pillars of the organisation can all be positively influenced by the example that an active CEO can set. From a performance perspective, active CEO’s enjoy greater performance across the wider group with case studies revealing higher workforce resilience scores compared to inactive CEO cohorts.

 

Psychological Safety

One of the greatest tasks of the CEO is to create an environment where employees feel psychologically safe. Whilst, the usual focus here is on mental health, I’d like to divert to talk about creating a culture of individual empowerment.

In my dealings, the more physically active CEOs and senior teams have had a much healthier approach to work. Giving their people the freedom to self-manage their workload and leaving space for more flexible working arrangements. Physically active CEO’s seem to trust their workers more, helping to create a culture of psychological safety. We have seen this phenomenon in our corporate wellness centres where staff can access our wellness services whilst at work. Whether that be a Yoga class, a Physiotherapy appointment or a skin check – all is encouraged in a safe culture of wellbeing.

 

Wellbeing champions – the ripple effect

In my consulting work, I have seen CEO’s with teams ranging in size from 50 all the way through to 5000 who have built physical activity into the culture. In one organisation, the core values were created with wellbeing being a key focus – and the subtext being – ‘be the change you want to see’ – how remarkable is that!

With physical fitness being a key pillar for this organisation, organically the CEO and senior leaders have created a culture of wellbeing champions.

One senior leader reported that in their team a team manager of 300 organically started a running group for the Melbourne half marathon. The leader noticed his team drinking too much coffee and sitting for too long and was fed up! The team manager had lost a significant amount of weight in the companies group fitness challenge two years prior and had wanted the team to feel the benefits they had experienced themselves.

Creating wellbeing champions is the mecca of all wellbeing strategy and engagement. The CEO’s who are physically active create a ripple effect of influence and it is embedded into the company culture.

 

The take home!

Physically active CEOs and leaders are high impact individuals, their teams perform better and they create a legacy of wellbeing champions. Get moving, lead from the front and enjoy the ripple effect.

 

Lead from the front – with the help of the Pinnacle Health Group

Creating a workplace culture that encourages the best in everyone doesn’t have to be a battle – not when you commit to leading from the front. If you are interested in learning more about what we do at Pinnacle Health Group to help companies like yours encourage wellness in their people, get in touch by filling out a wellness enquiry form today.

Quick Tips for Marathon Training

Runners run urban marathon in the the city

1 – Look Down

Test out the shoes and socks that you plan on wearing on race day. If the shoes aren’t your regular training shoes, wear them on at least one 12-15 km run at marathon pace. This test run will determine whether you’re likely to develop blisters or get sore feet–before it’s too late. If the shoes bother you on this run, get yourself another pair.
 

2 – Don’t get greedy 

Try to stick to your training plan in the weeks leading up to the race. You’re not cramming for a test so running more KM’s than you’re used to late in your training can hinder your performance rather than help it. 
 

3 – Taper

During your final week you should feel like you’re storing up energy, physically and mentally. Keep runs short, try to get good sleep and keep stress at bay. Get work projects under control, decline late night invitations and try to avoid long flights if possible. You should arrive on the start line feeling fresh and ready to smash your goals! 
 
The Melbourne Marathon is only a couple of weeks away. If you have any questions, niggles or need some more personalised advice get in touch today!

5 Myths of Running Shoes-by Chris McCormick

Runners World recently put out this great blog (http://www.runnersworld.com/running-shoes/5-common-myths-about-running-shoes) discussing the common myths of running shoes – as a podiatrist I get asked about each of these everyday! I’ve summarised the key points below:

sneakers

 

  1. There is a best running shoe – Easily the most common myth about running shoes. There is “no” best” running shoe! We are all individuals, we each prefer different features in our shoes – so what I like is different to what my running partner enjoys. Not to mention that different running shoes are designed for different types of running!
  1. All Nikes are created equal – Another common misconception. So often you hear people say “I only run in Asics or Nike”. As a runner you need to find the style that works for you, regardless of brand preference!
  1. A shoe is a prescription – Over-pronator, flat footed, weak in the ankle – how often do you hear these terms thrown around by shoe stores looking to match you up to a specific style of shoes. From then on you believe that this shoe is the only style for you! The key point here – no shoe is a magic prescription, over time as aspects of your running change your shoe selection is likely to change to!
  1. Monogamy is a virtue – It is good thing to spread the seed when it comes to running shoes – try a few different styles on the go. Using varying shoes for different runs (speed, trail, long, etc) provides alternative interactions with the surface and a different response from your soft tissues – a positive thing.
  1. A shoe can make you run fast – the only way to run fast to hit the road/track/trail/pavement/concrete/sand – unless you are running you aren’t running fast!

Above all else – get out there and enjoy the run, you never know where it might lead you!

A Snapshot of my Journey to Ironman

The Ironman has been touted the most mentally and physically gruelling one-day endurance event. It comprises a 3.86 km open water swim, a 180.25 km bike ride, and a 42.2 km run. For the professional athlete it takes 8 hours; and the general competitors 17. With good reason many call it plain silly and question the motivation of those who not only choose to compete, but pay for the privilege…
I am a weekend warrior who has neither the heart of Phar Lap, nor the lungs of Ian Thorpe, but someone who thrives on a challenge and is enticed by pushing the limits. The first hurdle for my ironman season is the Challenge Melbourne; a race comprising a 1.9 km swim, a 90 km bike ride and a 21 km run. The contest requires my apt preparation to ready the body and focus the mind.

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