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      Japanese companies may have found a way to boost employee health and productivity. Their secret? Exercise. Morning exercise is a tradition that has taken hold in Japanese culture to foster better health and fitness. You might think your employees already get enough exercise on the worksite, but this kind of communal workout may have some hidden benefits.

      In Japan, this morning exercise is referred to as “Rajio Taisou” or “Radio Exercise.” The radio comes on, employees gather together, and the exercise routine begins. It can be as short as three to four minutes, but the positive effects may continue throughout the day.

      Just look at the Swedish company, Skanska. They took a note from Japan by encouraging more than 600 construction workers to take part in a ten-minute exercise and stretch workout in the morning. Workers reported feeling a better sense of community and motivation in the morning, and Skanska saw a decrease in the number of soft tissue injuries.

       

      A little exercise goes a long way

       

      In a study published by Applied Ergonomics, it was also found that daily exercise for construction workers led to increased flexibility and endurance. These effects could ward off worksite hazards such as fatigue and accidents due to a lack of awareness.

      If you’re interested in introducing a Japanese-style exercise break to your workplace, take a look at Honda’s musical exercise process in their South Carolina plant. Before every shift, the plant plays a two-minute exercise routine set to music. This workout specifically targets hands, shoulders, and other muscles that are repeatedly used during shifts. Honda has been able to reduce injuries and health care costs.

      Whoever thought that a little music and some light exercise could lead to such great benefits? Find a routine that works for your worksite and reap the rewards of creating a healthy, productive, and happy worksite atmosphere.

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