01 Mar Sweden’s Newest Craze: Exercise at Work or Get Fired?
Employers in Sweden are making exercise compulsory. The AFP reports:
Every Friday, employees of fashion and sportswear retailer Bjorn Borg leave their desks at the company’s Stockholm headquarters to get their weekly workout at a nearby gym.
There is no getting out of it: for more than two years the company founded by the Swedish tennis legend has made on-the-job exercise mandatory at the initiative of chief executive Henrik Bunge, a 44-year-old built like a wrestler.
“If you don’t want to exercise or be a part of the company culture, you have to go,” says Bunge, without batting an eye.
We naturally are big supporters of employers promoting exercise and wellness. As Dr. Thomas Frieden, the Director of the CDC, has put it, physical activity is “the closest thing we have to a wonder drug.”
But, exercise certainly isn’t a one-size fits all type of activity. From bootcamps to barre, people have their own preferences. People are also on different levels, and have different recommendations from their doctors. Forcing someone with a disability, or recuperating from an operation, or who just had a baby, to take the same cardio class as others doesn’t quite make sense.
And of course – one of the biggest things we see – is that for so many people the last thing they want to do is put on spandex in front of co-workers. They’re keen on exercising; they just want their privacy.