Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 27 November 2014

Exercise bottom of agenda for Ulster's top executives

Business executives in Northern Ireland do the least exercise compared to their counterparts in the rest of the UK, according to a new survey.

Today's workplace makes performance demands of key players which exceed anything that might be asked of the finest athletes, said Siemens, which conducted the survey.

And a lack of regular exercise may be contributing to increased levels of stress, ill-health and impaired performance in the workplace, it said.

The company's UK-wide poll found that 40% of business people here admitted they did not exercise - and when asked if they wished they had time to do more, the answer was no.

Close behind Northern Ireland executives were those in the Midlands where 33% admitted that they failed to exercise along with 30% of the Welsh.

Top marks, however, go to Scotland, where 22% of people admitted to working out every day - with 11% doing two hours exercise.

In London and the south west, 70% of executives said they wished they had more time in their busy days to work out.

The most stressed region is the Midlands where 5% admitted to being extremely stressed at work, while the most chilled out people seem to be in the North East.

Siemens, a partner of GB Rowing, conducted the research as part of a campaign to encourage the business community to take more exercise in order to improve their health, combat stress and to enhance performance in the workplace.

Dr Chris Shambrook, GB Rowing team psychologist, said: "Today's workplace is an uncompromising arena that shares many characteristics with the world of the elite athlete; intense pressure, tough competition, small margins of error and high costs of failure.

"It's an arena that makes performance demands of key players which exceed anything that might be asked of the finest athletes."

Teresa Frost, head of talent management at Siemens, said: "We conducted this survey to highlight how stressed UK business people are in the workplace and to remind them that regular exercise is key to dealing with this and improving individual performance."

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