According to the survey conducted among MultiSport card holders during the summer holidays, as many as 92% of people who returned to physical activity after the period of social isolation have experienced an improvement in their wellbeing and 88% – an improvement in their health. These two factors as well as the desire to relax are the three main reasons for practising sport mentioned by employees who use this non-financial benefit.
Reasons for practising sports, source: Benefit Systems. I want to stay healthy, Better condition, Way to relax, Opportunity to lose weight, Opportunity to shape the body, Way to spend free time, Building strong will, Opportunity to meet new people, Opportunity to spend time with oneself, I want to be a part of the team.
Supporting employees’ health and wellbeing is gaining importance during the pandemic. Gallup's research shows that employees who believe that their company does not support them sufficiently in this area declare lower efficiency and absenteeism caused by malaise at the level of 7.2 days a year on average. In Poland, one of the most popular non-financial benefits is the sports card, which fits the idea of wellbeing programmes. It is a benefit that responds to employees’ needs related to building their welfare. What are those needs?
- Pierwsze trzy powody wskazywane przez osoby korzystające z tego benefitu pracowniczego odnoszą się do samopoczucia fizycznego i psychicznego, czyli: dla zdrowia (57%), lepszej kondycji (54%) oraz relaksu (42%). Dopiero później wymieniane są powody związane z wyglądem – tyle samo osób, tj. po 39%, przyznaje, że ćwiczy, by zrzucić zbędne kilogramy czy wyrzeźbić sylwetkę – przytacza wyniki badania Adam Radzki.
Sport is an investment in health
The World Health Organisation recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week. Meanwhile, the MultiSport Index Pandemic survey shows that during the lockdown 43% of Poles decreased the level of their physical activity. This change affected their health, wellbeing, and body shape.
– When we cease physical activity, our muscle mass decreases very quickly, up to 10% after a month of inactivity. A few days after changing sports habits, our heart starts to work differently, with a faster resting rhythm, our blood pressure rises, and our blood circulation changes. Finally, the changes observed in the body shape or the lack of post-workout neurohormone release may cause a decline in mood, anger, or frustration. A compulsory period of detraining during the lockdown followed by a return to activity has reminded many people of the numerous health and wellbeing benefits of sports – points out sports cardiologist, Łukasz Małek, M.D., PhD. – It is worth emphasising that among its many health benefits regular physical activity also improves the body's immunity. This can make us less susceptible to more severe forms of viral diseases, also due to the lower presence of negative factors, e.g. obesity, hypertension, and others – adds the expert.
Scientific research conducted during the 2009 AH1N1pdm09 flu pandemic showed that regular exercise reduces the risk of respiratory infections by about 30%.
Variety of needs and activities
– As it turns out, sport can also be used to fulfil other, even completely opposite needs. One in six MultiSport card holders that we surveyed indicates that it is a way to meet new people, and for one in seven of them it is an opportunity to be alone with oneself. The variety of activities under the MultiSport programme enables achieving all these goals – says Adam Radzki.
MultiSport card holders have nearly 4,000 sports and recreational facilities throughout Poland, such as fitness clubs, gyms, dance schools, swimming pools, etc., at their disposal. They are all subject to the same, higher sanitary standards. These include social distancing as well as disinfecting hands and sports equipment. In the clubs one can use changing rooms, toilets, and showers. According to the guidelines of the Chief Sanitary Inspectorate, it is not necessary to wear masks.
Benefit Systems SA has been operating on the Polish market since 2001. The company created the MultiSport sports and recreation programme, which supports an active and healthy lifestyle of its users. Sports cards provide access to sports and recreational facilities in over 650 cities throughout the country. The sports offer is also successfully implemented in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria, and Croatia. An important area of Benefit Systems activities is promoting an active lifestyle at every stage of life, which is why the company undertakes initiatives to encourage physical activity among children, adults, and seniors.
Senior PR Specialist at Benefit Systems
PR Specialist at Benefit Systems