• Wellbeing

What impact is the ‘out manoeuvring movement’ having on our happiness?

  • By: paralleladmin
  • Posted on: 26th April 2024

Raina Dhillon, Heath & Wellbeing Specialist

We all know that we no longer need to move to survive and get work done in perhaps the same way that our ancestors did(!), and even less than the generation before us. For this we can thank the wonders and conveniences of modern technology, allowing us to streamline and complete activities of our workday in a faster, but less physical way. 

However, despite all the conveniences and benefits to organisational process and productivity this modern world has given us, what we are increasingly seeing is major issues in the mental health of our UK workforce. We have become hard wired to seek out a faster and more convenient method to approach day to day delivery of our work, but the reality is that this embrace of ‘need for convenience’ has resulted in what is being dubbed an “out manoeuvring movement”. This inadvertently has led to a reduction in physical activity, resulting in a myriad of challenges, impacting many areas of our mental wellbeing including:

  • Apathy
  • Anxiety
  • Chronic stress
  • Depression
  • Emotional wellbeing
  • Low self esteem
  • Social Withdrawal

Last month we spoke with Kelly Allen of Fruitful Insights – an organisation that helps businesses accurately measure and analyse how impaired wellbeing is impacting employees and the businesses they work for. Their summary of some reason analysis is shared with you below:

“We have recently been looking at the associations between mental health and physical activity in our data and found some interesting insights. Notably that more moderate exercise is associated with consistently better overall mental health responses BUT more vigorous activity did not show the same consistent pattern of improvement. Our data indicates that finding the right balance is critical, this was highlighted when we observed that regular moderate exercise increased happiness by as much as 27% and vigorous exercise by 21%.

Finding the right balance between duration, vigour and frequency will depend on the individual – not too little, not too much, just the right amount is what you should be focussed on.” Mike Tyler Chairman of Fruitful Insights

We don’t want to change the process we’ve worked hard to install and technology we’ve invested in, so instead, how can we support those who are being?

It is evident, and we can all agree that good emotional health and physical activity are connected. Regular physical activity and movement is one of the most important things you can do to improve you and your people’s mental health. Moving more and sitting less has tremendous benefits for everyone regardless of age, gender, race, ethnicity or current fitness level.

Happier people are more productive people.

When you engage in more physical activity this helps you gain confidence, boosts your mood and reduces your symptoms of anxiety and depression. So what can we do to encourage and help our workforce to make healthy and active choices throughout their day, to both improve their mood, wellbeing, and therefore productivity?

At Parallel, we try to install a culture where the team feel supported, and their mental wellbeing recognised. Where we can we do our best to encourage regular breaks, using annual leave and finishing on time – to name just a few – but we believe this has to come from the top. One of our favourite times of the day is our 3pm Teatime Break – a tradition that allows our team to step away from their screens, stretch their legs, catch up and give their minds and bodies a chance to recharge.

By recognising the interconnectedness of emotional health and physical activity within our business, installing small initiatives that give the team freedom to move more; empowerment to make healthier choices, will over time lead to happier and more productive individuals.

For more information on how we can support you with your Employee Value Proposition and health benefits don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’re here to help you make a difference. Reach out to one of our team today – click here.