BENEFITS OF PHYSICAL LABORAL ACTIVITY
Nowadays it is notorious the reduction in physical activity at work, as a result of the decrease in the number of professionals linked to the primary sector (agriculture, livestock and fishing). Conversely, there is an increasing development of professions linked to technology, consequently leading to a reduction in physical activity at work and an increase in sedentary behavior.
Despite the knowledge about the benefits of physical activity in health, there is a decrease in leisure activities, gradually replaced by more physically passive activities (Barros, 1999).
On the other hand, we can see that the work environment has increasingly complex and more competitive relationships, resulting in greater demands on productivity, causing higher levels of pressure and stress, increasing the demand for quality of life at work. This is defined by the set of actions of a company that involves the implementation of improvements in the work environment, with the aim of increasing worker satisfaction and consequently an increase in productivity and cost reduction of the company itself (Stort et al., 2006).
The implementation of physical activity in the workplace has benefits in reducing anxiety and stress, increasing self-control, greater concentration and, not least, inducing a positive effect on the employee's relationship with the company itself and with colleagues. (Stort et al., 2006).
Regular physical exercise induces a significant increase in productivity levels and motivation, respectively in the order of 30% and 40%, and an increase in the company's competitiveness (Salmon, 1995).
Each program must have a direction, since each company has its specificity, there must be a diagnosis of the problems and limitations of occupational activities, as well as physical and human resources, in order to be able to plan and execute the actions to be implemented (Alves, 2011).
In the implementation of promotion programs in the workplace, the challenge lies in the development of organizational, social and environmental strategies that ensure the continued participation of workers, since the dropout rate is around 30 to 70% in the first three to six months. Among the approaches that companies have adopted in the workplace, the following are noteworthy: flexibility in working hours, incentives for breaks from long work, subsidies to support workers who want to participate in physical activity, the provision of a structure for the practice of physical activity, such as a room or gymnasium, bicycle insurance, changing rooms and incentives to use the stairs.
There are various forms of physical activity promotion adopted by companies and organizations:
Be based on the performance of low or medium intensity exercises, lasting from 5 to 15 minutes per session, considering the labor characteristics and work organization of each sector or company, performed 3 times a week (Polito, 2002 and Macial, 2010). Another form is the walk, because there was the impact of an intervention program in this area, lasting 45 minutes, twice a week, for 2 months, carried out in the workplace. Significant decreases in blood pressure values and maintenance of body fat were observed (Murphy, 2006).
In workplaces with stairs, the incentive to use them is also a strategy to implement physical activity at work, replacing the use of the elevator. Based on the study by Schumacher et al. (2013), over a period of 6 months, a company offered a cash prize to those who accomplished 20 points per day for using the ladder, recording the accesses by passing the identification card. In this period, the use of the stairs increased by 600 %.
At the level of large companies, the hiring of professionals with the objective of developing a program of physical activity with the employees is beneficial for its success (Costa, 1990).
The availability of a gymnasium within the organization's space is also an attraction factor, allowing access to physical activity without having to leave the work environment. In the difficulty of investing in this area, discounts are offered in the gymnasium or help in this payment. Programs should also be created that involve both internal and external running groups and tournaments in order to promote interpersonal relationships (Ogata & Simurro, 2009).
Occupational gymnastics must include aerobic exercises, such as running. The improvement of posture and reduction of back pain is achieved through flexibility exercises (Achour Junior et al., 1999).
These results represent strong evidence that small interventions can lead to a change in health parameters and thus encourage the adoption of an active lifestyle on a more regular and permanent basis, which would facilitate the achievement of greater benefits.
Ana Rita Cativo