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Body health and its link to job performance

By Jack Campbell | |5 minute read
Body Health And Its Link To Job Performance

We often hear that keeping fit and healthy is a positive for personal wellbeing. However, an overlooked benefit is the impact it can have on our job performance.

Healthy bodies can translate to sharper minds, noted Ending Body Burnout author Filipa Bellette.

“Without your health, productivity, creativity and mental sharpness will decline at some point. If you’re exhausted, brain-foggy, anxious or depressed, and your body is achy and inflamed, it’s really hard to show up to do your best work,” she said.


“Fatigue will affect productivity, brain fog will lead to slower output of work and more mistakes, mental ill health (which is body health – the body and mind are connected) can lead to a squash of creativity, risk taking and decision making. And being in physical pain (joint/muscle aches, headaches, gut pain, period pain) causes irritation, discomfort and is physically and mentally sapping.”

Leaders who recognise the boost in performance that a healthy body can bring to their workers can leverage this to drive better outcomes. Integrating healthy ideals into company culture can be beneficial.

“Leaders can leverage health to drive business outcomes by making it part of the company’s culture. First, it’s up to you to be the leader to prioritise their own wellbeing. It’s difficult to create and lead a company culture if you’re not practising what you preach,” Bellette said.

“Take micro breaks every 30 minutes to stretch. Stick to snack and lunchtime breaks, and get outside in the sun to eat. Then, create a culture that prioritises employees’ wellbeing, where it’s safe to listen to the body. Leaders could foster wellbeing by measuring employees’ wellbeing KPIs, like hours of sleep, alongside work KPIs. Offering cash bonuses when these KPIs are hit has been shown to not only promote health inside the business but also improve business outcomes.”

Keeping healthy can be hard for a working professional, especially when various responsibilities require attention. According to Bellette, staying healthy doesn’t require much time and can be achieved through short bursts of activity.

“Staying healthy doesn’t have to take a lot of time. For instance, research shows that peppering two minutes of movement into your day every 30 minutes is more beneficial for long-term health than going to the gym for an hour a day,” she said.

“Swapping out food choices at work is also a simple way of helping staff prioritise their health – i.e. provide healthy snacks instead of lollies, and herbal teas instead of coffee. Breaking down the hustle-culture mindset is also important – it’s not about working harder and juggling more things, but working smarter. Which being healthy allows you to do.”

Further to promoting increased productivity at work, integrating these ideas into routines can assist in reducing burnout.

“When the body is functioning optimally, energy levels are better and the brain functions so much better. But this isn’t so that people can work more! Having work boundaries in place is important to mitigate burnout. Creating a culture where it’s safe to communicate about workload and expectations, where staff feel like they can voice their opinion, and listen to the cues from their body, will help to mitigate burnout and staff churn rate,” Bellette said.



Employees experience burnout when their physical or emotional reserves are depleted. Usually, persistent tension or dissatisfaction causes this to happen. The workplace atmosphere might occasionally be the reason. Workplace stress, a lack of resources and support, and aggressive deadlines can all cause burnout.

Jack Campbell

Jack Campbell

Jack is the editor at HR Leader.