There is an overwhelming amount of scientific evidence on the positive participation effects in sports and physical activity as part of a healthy lifestyle. Participation in sports is mainly for health purposes, the need for enjoyment and the economic benefits. The health related benefits of sports and physical activity is that they lead to the development of healthy bones, efficient heart and function of lungs. The direct effects of engaging in regular physical activity are particularly apparent in prevention of several chronic diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, obesity, hypertension, depression, hypertension, osteoporosis, development of health bones and improved cognitive function (New Zealand 2008p.114).
The work related benefits of sports and physical activity is diverse. According to Gettman (2012 p.226), sports boost learning as memorization, repetition and learning of skills, as well as determination and goal setting skills employed in competitions. This can directly be transferred to class work or daily activities. Team sports are good for learning cooperation, accountability, dedication, leadership and for boosting confidence.
Biddle & Mutrie (2010 p.117) pointed out some of the psychological and sociological benefits of physical activity and sports. Physical activities boost self image and self esteem of an individual. Moreover, sports helps significantly in teaching of teamwork, reduces stress and pressure and the associated symptoms of anxiety and depression. According to research by University of Missouri health care, sports and physical activity improves greater social contact and interaction, reduces loneliness and isolation, and also increases greater sense of well being and relaxation.
According to Bellingham & Cohen (2013 p.356), healthy lifestyles has an impact on every company’s level in a work environment. By corporate providing wellness programs to their employees, a company can reduce absenteeism, save on the cost of healthcare, decrease stress, increase productivity, improve employee retention and boost the work place morale. Many corporate are coming up with programs and facilities to benefit their employees (Bellingham & Cohen 2013).
O’reilly & Brunette (2013 p.43) observed that through corporate wellness programs, many multinational companies have realized huge savings. For example in IBM, the average healthcare claim costs for their employees who engage in exercises 1-2 times per week are $350 per year (Pate & Buchner 2014p.52). This is less than the employees who do not engage in exercises. The global wellness strategy and initiatives of IBM is to challenge their employees to become informed and active participants in their health. The extensive portfolio of IBM of global wellness offerings provides their employees with health related tools and information to help the employees achieve their highest potential at home, work and the communities they come from. Thomas & Nelson (2010) pointed out that the global strategy of IBM to improve health of the IBMers, while ensuring costs are kept in check, has four main elements:
- Investing in primary care and prevention
- Supporting reform in healthcare
- Developing healthy lifestyles programs among the employees and their employees
- Scaling services and programs through healthcare tools that are web based in ways that enable their employees to be informed, engaged and activated partners in healthcare
Safaricom Limited is a leading communication company that provides data and voice communications services to their consumers, public sector and businesses. Safaricom Company is committed to the overall wellbeing and health of its employees. The company promotes and support wellness initiatives that lengthen life, reduces the illness incidences and helps everyone to achieve a satisfying and productive lifestyle. According to Safaricom (2013), through the programs of wellness, Safaricom Company aims at enhancing the employees’ health, improve work attendance, improve morale of the employees and finally increase their productivity.
Health programs/work place wellness
Safaricom (2013p.7) indicated that the primary focus of the company’s wellness programs is on assisting the healthy employees in prevention of chronic diseases by reducing the diseases risk factors. This is done changes in the policies and environments of work that increase opportunities and employees support to become more active physically, choose healthier foods, manage stress, and avoid substance and drug abuse. Furthermore, the wellness programs also provide interventions to the company’s employees with existing condition so with the chronic diseases to help them in management these conditions and assist in prevention of further progression of these diseases through screening early and management programs of the diseases. The Safaricom Company has set many wellness facilities for their staff, which includes Gyms, Daycare/crèche facilities, Lounge areas, Games rooms, Cafeterias, Cyber cafes, Clinics, Prayer rooms, Resource centers, and Mothers rooms.
MATHARE YOUTH SPORTS ASSOCIATION (MYSA)
This is a Community Based Organization that empowers youths to improve their lives and fulfill their potentials and their communities through sports. MYSA was a pioneer in linking of sports with community development activities, social improvements such as HIV/AIDs prevention, environment improvement and garbage cleanups (Willis 2009). Currently it is the largest recognized self-help youth community and sports service organization in Africa. The organization uses football as effective and innovative tool to get youth involved in helping the communities and themselves. MYSA has engaged in public campaigns to enhance people to be sporty and improve their physical health especially the youths. They also provide facilities to the public for physical activities and sports, in addition to training people. Some of these programs and initiatives are similar to the school programs like the physical education lessons and researches in sports field in institutions of higher learning (Willis 2009).
Pate & Buchner (2014) observed that from the initiatives and programs of the global companies and the community based organizations, the benefits are diverse. There has been a notable trend seen in the organization set up systems programs and programs for physical activity. These include:
- Procurement of services for their staffs
- Putting up of programs and facilities
- Establishment of sports clubs
In Kenya setting, this has been seen in a number of public and private organizations. The purpose of the research is to identify the status of physical activity at Kenya School of Monetary Studies (KSMS), a subsidiary of Central Bank of Kenya (CBK). The Central Bank of Kenya established the Kenya School of Monetary Studies in 1997 with modern sports and recreational facilities. Among the objectives of the establishment was to develop a healthy workforce brought about by among other things participation in sports. The school boasts of modern and adequate sports and recreational facilities including;
- A standard football field and athletic track hosted in a stadium of 10,000 seater
- 4 modern built tartan tennis courts
- 1 badminton court
- 2 standard squash courts hosted in an auditorium of 500 seater
- A modern well equipped gymnasium
- Steam bath and sauna facilities
- 3 swimming pools; baby, main pool and deep water pool
- 1 basketball court
- 1 netball court
Currently, more modern sports facilities are underway to be completed in 2016 including hot water swimming pool, refurbishing the stadium including the tartan athletic track.
However, there is low participation by the targeted users. There is also low usage of the facilities basing by the number of clients. There is a relationship to hypo-kinetic diseases and work performance (absenteeism, output/productivity and turnover). According to other studies, because of low participation in physical activity, the likelihood of hypo- kinetic diseases to occurrence is high. Therefore, there is need for an intervention study. Therefore, the study seeks to:
- Establish the status of participation and factors that affect participation of CBK/KSMS employees.
- Establish the participation trends (FITT)
- Attitude toward physical activities,
- Motivations for participation and
- Establish the prevalence of non-communicable conditions such as obesity, overweight, diabetes and cardiac illness.
Bellingham, R., & Cohen, B. (2013). The Corporate wellness sourcebook. Amherst, Mass, Human Resource Development Press.
Biddle, S., & Mutrie, N. (2010). Psychology of physical activity: determinants, well-being, and interventions. London, Routledge.
Corbin, C. B., & Pangrazi, R. P. (2013). The health benefits of physical activity. Washington, DC, President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. Accessed from http://purl.access.gpo.gov/GPO/LPS21125.
Corbin, C. B., Pangrazi, R. P., & Franks, B. D. (2009). Toward a better understanding of physical fitness and activity: selected topics. Scottsdale, Ariz, Holcomb Hathaway, Publishers.
Gettman, L. R. (2012). Economic benefits of physical activity. Washington, DC, President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. Accessed from http://purl.access.gpo.gov/GPO/LPS21100.
Hammond, T., & King, D. (2008). Sports. New York, Knopf.
Healey, J. (2009). Physical activity. Thirroul, N.S.W., Spinney Press.
New Zealand. (2008). Active for life, a call for action: the health benefits of physical activity : a report. Wellington [N.Z.], The Committee.
O’reilly, N., & Brunette, M. K. (2013). Public-private partnerships in physical activity, sport, and health. Champaign, IL, Human Kinetics.
Pate, R. R., & Buchner, D. (2014). Implementing Physical Activity Strategies. Champaign, Human Kinetics. Accessed from http://public.eblib.com/EBLPublic/PublicView.do?ptiID=1595379.
Thomas, J. R., & Nelson, J. K. (2010). Research methods in physical activity. Champaign, IL, Humanics Kinetics.
Willis, O. (2009). Sport and development: the early years of Mathare Youth Sports Association. Saarbrücken, Germany, Lap Lambert Academic Pub.
Safaricom. (2013). Safaricom 2012/2013 United Nations Communication on Progress Report. IDS Working Papers. 2013, 1-15.