Health provided to workers at home

Health provided to workers at home

By Marco Holden Jeffery

For anyone working from home, staying active and healthy - both physically and mentally - can be difficult.

So when Push!Fitness managing director Andrew Ward was approached by shipping and logistics company ANL CMA CGM Group in March to run a three-month online fitness programs for its employees, he knew how valued exercise would be for those working remotely.

“Fitness is part of their lifestyle and how they manage stress and their physical and mental wellbeing, so we had to move really quickly to transition them from face-to-face fitness to online,” he said.

The [email protected] program ran throughout the first statewide lockdown, offering the company’s employees five classes per day, seven days a week, including everything from yoga and pilates to HIIT and functional fitness sessions.

It wasn’t just fitness either - the program also offered advice on how to manage things like stress and nutrition while at home and keeping good posture when sitting at your desk.

It was also important that employees weren’t feeling alone and kept engaging with the other people in their workplace.

“Productivity is a real concern for companies when people start working from home because they miss the teamwork and the engagement you get in the office,” Andrew said.

When setting up the program, it became obvious that it was key for employees to keep a sense of their pre-pandemic routine - what time they got up, when they had their coffee, and when they did their exercise.

“If someone’s regular working routine was to go to the gym before work, or if it was to go to a class on their lunch break, we made sure that we maintained that,” Andrew said.

The program was a roaring success, with 150 people from the company across Australia and New Zealand signed up after the first week, and a month in Push!Fitness began offering a similar online program to the general public.

“Our classes weren’t pitched at elite athletes - we made sure they were all achievable for first time exercisers,” Andrew said.

And by ensuring the classes were accessible, the gym managed to capture a whole new cohort - although some participants were regulars at the gym, about 70 per cent were entirely new faces.

Feedback and reactions from participants had been positive, with some employees getting their whole family involved in the workouts and others just grateful for the routine it provided.

“In the lockdown period if you’re with your partner or your family there’s a bit more sanity, but for some people who live alone these sorts of programs mean a lot to them,” Andrew said.

Like many things in the post-pandemic world, Andrew found delivering fitness online was uncharted territory and there weren’t any “off-the-shelf digital solutions” yet established when ANL CMA CMG Group approached him in March.

The team at Push!Fitness had transitioned well to the online space, but for trainers used to face-to-face motivation and offering corrections when teaching a class there had been challenges.

“If you work in fitness, you love to move, you love to be around people - you’re a certain kind of character,” Andrew said.

With gyms shut once again and a second lockdown now in place, Push!Fitness will continue the [email protected] program and their adjacent Push!Fitness Online offerings to the general public - something Andrew believed would outlast the pandemic

“Even when we opened last time, we had committed to run our online program to the end of the year,” he said.

“The response has been great, we’ve had people from as far as Hong Kong sign up for classes, so I think we’ll always have online content and services as part of our product.” •

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