HEALTH BENEFITS OF MASTERING MOVEMENT
As the weather begins to warm, it’s even more incentive to get moving.
But why do it alone? You can strengthen the bonds you have in your teams by doing it together.
Teamwork is a skill we use in many areas of our life.
How we contribute to a shared outcome can change the way we play – both on and off the field.
Work is a form of a group activity in our lives with social and professional elements.
Strengthening our connections with those around us improves our mental wellbeing.
You don’t have to be a professional athlete to enjoy the benefits of it, either.
Group exercise in any form is fantastic bonding time, collectively giving you a much-needed break from the daily grind.
On and off-field benefits
Trey Allison, CEO of Kronologic, describes his team as being like a professional sports team.
Whether on the field or in the office, high performing teams thrive on sincerity and comradeship.
Being a part of a sports team builds trust and connection, allowing us to communicate our needs and maintain different relationships.
If you’re doing something you enjoy, you’re happy at work and your team/colleagues are happier, which can increase productivity by 12% a study from the University of Warwick has found.
Getting a group together for team sports with your colleagues can benefit your professional performance in some important ways, including:
- Social connection – creates a support system outside of the office, connecting on a deeper level with your colleagues, enhancing communication and trust between people of different backgrounds or roles.
- Cohesiveness – working towards a common goal is at the core of every workplace. On the field, learning to master a set play or aiming for a game win can enhance your confidence.
- Decision-making – sport is great practice for making decisions under time pressure. It’s also an environment where we can become more accepting of failure as part of life and build resilience.
- Increased motivation – team sport gives us an extra incentive to be at our best. With less of an individual focus, we attend training and seek to improve our skills for the benefit of our team and the people in it.
- More confidence – over time, you can see your skills blossom and develop. This can be incredibly empowering across many areas of your life. Through discipline and feedback, you are getting to experience the rewards of your efforts.
Not just good for your health
The physical and mental health benefits of exercise are wide-reaching.
Exercise plays a crucial role in preventing and managing chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
It improves bone and muscle strength, enhances balance and flexibility, and contributes to maintaining a healthy weight.
Getting 30 to 45 minutes of exercise or movement in a day is enough to reduce your risk of heart disease, among many others, according to the Australian Government and Heart Foundation.
The Black Dog Institute points out that exercise has positive effects on mental wellbeing by reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety, improving mood, and boosting overall cognitive function.
However, there are even more benefits to exercising as part of a team or group.
Exercise with a team or group nurturing connection outside of family and work, helping us to find emotional support and a sense of belonging.
The effect of this socialisation can almost immediately lift your mood and squash stress, simply by having something else to focus on.
Engineer and educator Jaspal Singh highlights some of the other deep-reaching benefits:
- Learning to trust and depend on others
- To accept help, to give help
- To work together towards a common goal
- Commitment to a team
- Doing something fun can also make it easier to establish a regular habit of exercise
- Building your growth mindset
- Improving your resilience through defeat
It’s not just about winning, either.
Winning gives your self-esteem and confidence getting a big boost, particularly working towards, and achieving goals and improvement through training.
“The experience of coming to terms with defeat can build the resilience and self-awareness necessary to manage academic, social, and physical hurdles” Singh said.
Tips to get started
- Look at group sports close to your workplace, which you could attend after work.
- When it comes to picking a sport to try, make the decision together.
- Open the invitation to include people you may not have worked closely with before.
- Be open to not winning all the time, embracing defeat is part of building resilience.
- Building skills takes patience, persistence and practice – with yourself and others.
- Happiness linked to increased productivity in study – Human Resources Director
- Physical activity and your heart health – Heart Foundation
- Exercise for your mood campaign – Black Dog Institute
- 6 mental health benefits of team sports – Thriveworks
- How playing sports benefits your body and your brain – Leah Lagos and Jaspal Ricky Singh, TED Talk
- 10 tips to help you boost team performance – Harvard Business School Online