The old saying “work smarter, not harder” speaks to the reality that thoughtful, deliberate contemplation on optimal strategies can lead to breakthroughs in efficiency that would otherwise be untenable through inconsiderate or shortsighted efforts. Most people, if they are being honest with themselves, will recognize that operating under this paradigm is easier said than done. Hard work and habits are easy to justify on their own merit, not to mention the dozens of other constraints and complicating realities that can factor into this dynamic.

One way in which the contemporary fitness movement is shaking up the workplace is through this exact concept. As the modern workplace shifts its standards in office layouts, employee benefits and dress codes, so too have the values that comprise the professional culture changed. Whether it is through the provision of healthy meals, gym memberships or various other perks, employers are starting to show more care for the health and wellness of their employees.

Prioritizing fitness is more than just a benevolent decision for businesses; it’s also a shrewd one, according to an article this week from Forbes. Story author Pauleanna Reid interviewed Michelle August, founder of indoor cycling studio SPINCO, who shared the following three examples of specific ways this concept is made manifest:

A Pivotal Role In Business Health

For every benefit of being your own boss, there is a cost. Weigh gain, high levels of unmanaged stress, and chronic fatigue, are just a few of the ways entrepreneurs may neglect their bodies in order to grow their business. According to August, this way of operating not only affects the well-being of entrepreneurs but will also ultimately trickle down into the health of the company. Incorporating a schedule of consistent physical activity that challenges you helps. …  

Develop Laser-Like Focus

Mental acuity is sharpness of the mind. For sustainable entrepreneurship, being able to concentrate and understand the problem or task at hand, maintain focus and good memory are essential. All of these are driven and improved by stimulating different parts of the brain through exercise. …

Build A Strong Team

Working on tight deadlines or simply trying to manage a multitude of responsibilities each day is not only a challenge for owners but is tough on their teams as well. Research has found that exercise has tremendous benefits on people’s overall mood and ability to tackle their daily to-do lists. Findings from a study showed that people who exercised during work hours reported that their concentration increased by 21% and furthermore, 41% felt more motivated on days they worked out.

August has the right idea and it seems to be paying early dividends for her company. Regardless of whether or not company executives promote or encourage an active lifestyle amongst their employees, everyone ought to pursue this essential endeavor.

To read the rest of Reid’s writeup, including more explanation and background on August, click here.