Companies hoping to improve the health and consequently the productivity of staff were dealt a blow today by a report that claims regular workouts may be a waste of time.
Estimates by Towers Perrin health consultancy show that healthy workers can add up to eight hours worth of productivity to their work every week.
However, the latest findings published by Personnel Today sister magazine New Scientist found that strenuous exercise has no effect on the health of some and also increased the risk of developing certain diseases, including diabetes, among some subjects.
The study saw 742 go through a 20-week endurance programme after having not done any regular physical activity in the previous six months.
Results showed that while training could improve maximum oxygen consumption – a measure of a person’s ability to perform work – by up to 40 per cent in some people, other subjects showed no improvement at all.
The report’s authors said that exercise programmes were not for everyone and others might benefit more from changes in diet.