EXCLUSIVE: London Business School holds fitness sessions for staff


EXCLUSIVE: The London Business School has held fitness sessions for its 750 staff to help demonstrate how employees can fit regular exercise into their busy routines.

The two fitness sessions, which were delivered by The Tonic, were held on 4 October 2017 for approximately 28 employees per hour-long session.

The London Business School implemented the fitness sessions after staff feedback from wellbeing workshops held in January and February this year indicated that employees were struggling to find the time to fit regular exercise into their schedules, or for employees that were making the time, they fed back that they were not interested in exercising in a gym.

In October, the education organisation arranged fitness sessions to teach employees equipment-free exercises and circuit routines they can use away from the gym to fit into whatever spare time they have available. The sessions were designed to provide an introduction to exercise, and encourage employees to create their own fitness routine.

The London Business School’s on-site gym is currently undergoing refurbishment, so the London Business School wanted to encourage both existing gym-goers and those new to exercise to attend the sessions. All staff were invited to participate.

Group training sessions began with mindfulness and stretching exercises, before moving on to a small group circuit format, where employees had to work in pairs or fours to complete exercises in 45 second bursts. Employees completed squats, skipping, abdominal crunches, punch pad work and mountain climber exercises within the session.

Following the fitness classes, the organisation uploaded example workouts based on what was done in the sessions on to the staff intranet. This included regimes that employees could do in hotel rooms when travelling for work, or in the park, that would take around 20 to 25 minutes to complete.

The fitness sessions, which form part of the organisation’s overall wellbeing strategy, were communicated to staff via direct email sends, social media-style Yamma groups and word of mouth, for example through inductions and training courses. In addition, the fitness sessions were promoted using an advert in the organisation’s fortnightly internal magazine, Life at LBS.

The London Business School now plans to hold similar fitness sessions on a six-monthly or yearly basis.

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Stuart Mclean, associate director, pensions and benefits at the London Business School, said: “The idea was to say if [employees] are at home, in a hotel, in the park, these are exercises [they] can do. [They don’t need to think that they] need to be going to the gym and doing full on sessions, or lifting loads of weights, or going for a two-hour run or anything like that. It was really to get people’s heart rates up and do what’s right for [them]. [Employees] can do it anywhere was really the message, and the idea as well is working as part of these teams, so it was a little bit competitive. […] The idea is to give people the introduction and then they can go off and do it themselves. […] If [employees] can just do even five or 10 minutes a couple of times a week, that’s really doing [them] quite a lot of good.

“We want to look after our people, which we say is our biggest asset. We want to try and help them support aspects of their wellbeing. We’ve got a strapline we use and it’s looking after them physically, mentally and financially. So we try and cover all those three boxes. That links in to something that we use that’s part of our overall HR and people strategy, which is helping people to be their best. If we can help people to look after themselves, they’re obviously hopefully going to be well and motivated and help them to be their best, which obviously helps us as business as well.”