Corporate Fitness and Active Aging

Increase Workplace Health by Prescribing Exercise for Depression

Employee Health and DepressionBetween inflation, the rise and fall of the stock market, never-ending projects at work, and screaming kids, there are plenty of things in a employee’s life that can lead them to feel overwhelmed. While we all feel this way from time to time, feelings of anxiety and depression that don’t subside within a few days must be dealt with.

With the use of antidepressant and anti-anxiety medications at an all-time high, most Americans seem to be taking the pharmaceutical route to deal with their mental-health issues. As effective as this might be, however, it makes one wonder whether there are other options. Is medication the only hope for your employee's health and depression issues?

Evidence Points to Exercise as Another Answer to Employee Depression and Anxiety

One tried-and-true method of improving mental health is regular exercise. Some evidence suggests it can be as effective as traditional psychotherapy and can even eliminate the need for medication in mild to moderate cases of depression. This is encouraging news for your company wellness initiatives.

If your employees are like me, though, the last thing they probably want to do is get their body moving when they’re feeling a little blue. Here are some tips from the Mayo Clinic for getting started.

Once the initial discomfort of beginning to exercise wears off, I find my mind is a little more at ease and I can finally start to relax. I’m more upbeat, I can think more clearly, and I even leave feeling more energized than before. It’s not entirely clear how or why exercise can help improve mood, but it is known to do so regardless.

The Best Employee Exercises for Beating the Blues

Some employees will find aerobic exercise like walking or running to most improve their mood, whereas others find strength training more beneficial. I most enjoy running or playing basketball to get my mind off things; however, strength training has its place in my stress-relief program as well.

What Health Initiative Your Company Can Make to Assist with Employee Depression and Anxiety

As important as medication can be in a person’s life for a variety of ailments, never underestimate the body’s ability to heal itself. Whether it’s the release of endorphins that leads to the famous “runner’s high,” or the psychological benefits of setting an exercise goal and accomplishing it, performing regular physical activity can help employees deal with depression and anxiety.

So improve employee awareness through educating them on the benefits of exercise for depression and anxiety. Encourage them to grab a friend, get moving, and leave their worries behind. They might even lose a few pounds, too. And that alone can perk them up a little (as well as lower your companies health costs)!

Topics: employee health healthy workforce motivation control healthcare costs