How exercise impacts the workplace

In April, Pure Physiotherapy took on the GoeJoe Challenge, a specific exercise initiative designed to promote health and wellness in the workplace. Our challenge was a head-to-head competition against other teams to cover the furthest distance by walking, swimming, cycling or running. Exercise is a key pillar in the treatment of many health conditions, especially musculoskeletal injuries, so as physiotherapists we were more than happy to take on this challenge to practice what we preach. This short blog will look at how physical activity can positively impact the workplace and why taking part in challenges like this can make a big difference to our health and wellbeing.  


Mehru – “GoJoe has helped me a lot to stay motivated, to build my energy levels and pushed me out of my comfort zone.” Distance covered 152.89 km 


The mental benefits of exercise on stress  

Our roles as Physiotherapists can be stressful. We have to deal with difficult and complex patients, manage their expectations and keep accurate records all within a short space of time. High job stress has been correlated with reduced worker quality of life, increased sick leave and lower productivity (Park and Jang 2019). Finding ways to reduce the effects of stress in the workplace is essential to reduce clinician burnout. Exercise is a natural stress reliever as it helps reduce levels of stress hormones like cortisol and increases the production of endorphins. This reduction in stress hormones can improve mood and reduce anxiety (Nys et al 2022). The GoJoe challenge encourages employees to engage in physical activity in a fun and competitive way to help combat the effects of stress within the workplace.  


James – “GoJoe really helped me get back on the horse with my regular exercise which in turn improved my stress levels immensely!” Distance covered- 702.61km


How do exercise and fitness help the workplace?

In order to work as a physiotherapist in a fast-paced environment, we need to maintain energy levels and focus. This is to ensure we can rule out sinister pathologies, correctly diagnose a wide range of conditions and manage patients accordingly. Decision fatigue describes the impaired ability to make decisions and control our behavior, which as physiotherapists could lead to suboptimal patient care (Pignatiello 2020). Studies have shown that engagement in moderate intensity exercise programs can have good improvements in feelings of fatigue, energy and vitality (Wender et al 2022). This suggests that if we can increase our exercise levels through regular workplace challenges, this may have positive impacts on our performance and overall job satisfaction.  


Luke Hedley – “The GoJoe challenge was great, I found it a big motivating factor in getting out to train each day which had such a positive impact on my energy levels and stress management generally” Distance covered- 327.06 km


How does fitness promote teamwork? 

The last point to highlight is how exercise can be used as a tool to help with job satisfaction and team building. As physiotherapists, we are often working alone in private clinic rooms so many practitioners have been known to feel isolated, as we have limited interactions with our colleagues each day.  Better workplace relationships, teamwork and support systems in a job will often improve overall job satisfaction (Kalisch et al 2010).  Therefore, participating in workplace challenges can foster camaraderie and teamwork among employees. Teams may work together to achieve collective goals, which can strengthen relationships and improve collaboration in the workplace. 


Navi – “I found completing this challenge improved my energy levels and focus and it was great for coming together and working as a team” Distance covered 221.7 km

Lisa Brown “I love that it brings people from all over the country together by encouraging and celebrating each other’s success. Seeing what people can achieve as a team makes me really proud to be part of it.” Distance covered 234.83 km 


Our team of 10 employees at Pure managed to cover a staggering 4195.43km within the month of April winning the challenge but closely followed by Team Tara then Team Dan.  


Jamie – “As a new employee at Pure, the GoeJoe challenge helped me to meet new colleagues all whilst increasing my exercise levels which keeps me focussed and enjoy my work” Distance covered- 646.65 km 


Winning this workplace exercise challenge highlights our company’s strong teamwork, passion for exercise and desire to win. Individual feedback from those who took part also supports the ideas discussed in this blog-that exercise can help with workplace stress reduction, energy levels and teamwork.  

Implementing regular exercise programs like the GoJoe Challenge demonstrates a commitment to employee health and well-being. This can contribute to a positive company culture and improve overall employee satisfaction and retention.  

Pure Physiotherapy Founder, Phin Robinson said – “We’ve been hosting GoJoe challenges at Pure Physiotherapy for several years, a tradition that started during the challenging times of COVID-19. This initiative was particularly crucial for our physiotherapists, who found themselves isolated while serving clients across the nation. GoJoe has brilliantly recreated the sense of camaraderie and teamwork we pride ourselves on, despite the physical separation imposed by geographical and COVID-19 safety measures. We swiftly realised the vast benefits these challenges offered, not only bridging the isolation during the pandemic but also overcoming physical distances to unite our team towards a common, fun, and physically engaging goal. 

Since then, we have integrated the GoJoe challenges into our internal team-building and engagement strategies, running them several times a year. I have found these events to be immensely engaging and entertaining. It’s truly inspiring to see our team members participate, whether they’re walking a mile a week or completing multiple marathons during the month-long challenge. Moreover, our collaborations with clients to develop inter-organisational challenges have been a delightful and effective way to foster engagement and promote physical activity, a fundamental element of our profession as physiotherapists. 

There is a wealth of research supporting the benefits of physical activity on overall health outcomes and in reducing all-cause mortality risks. With over 400 physiotherapists from Cornwall to the far reaches of northern England, GoJoe has been a phenomenal way to engage our team, promote the values of physical activity and healthy lifestyles, enhance team morale and integration, and, importantly, have a great deal of fun while doing so.” 


For information about how your team can benefit from occupational health services and physical activity in the workplace, click click here!



Barene, S., Krustrup, P. and Holtermann, A. (2022) ‘Does a 40‐week football and Zumba Exercise Intervention Influence self‐reported job satisfaction, work role functioning and sick leave among female hospital employees? A cluster‐randomised controlled trial’, European Journal of Sport Science, 23(8), pp. 1750–1760. doi:10.1080/17461391.2022.2139634.  

De Nys, L. et al. (2022) ‘The effects of physical activity on cortisol and sleep: A systematic review and meta-analysis’, Psychoneuroendocrinology, 143, p. 105843. doi:10.1016/j.psyneuen.2022.105843.  

KALISCH, B.J., LEE, H. and ROCHMAN, M. (2010) ‘Nursing staff teamwork and job satisfaction’, Journal of Nursing Management, 18(8), pp. 938–947. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2834.2010.01153.x.  

Park, S. and Jang, M.K. (2019) ‘Associations between workplace exercise interventions and job stress reduction: A systematic review’, Workplace Health & Safety, 67(12), pp. 592–601. doi:10.1177/2165079919864979.  

Pignatiello, G.A., Martin, R.J. and Hickman, R.L. (2018) ‘Decision fatigue: A conceptual analysis’, Journal of Health Psychology, 25(1), pp. 123–135. doi:10.1177/1359105318763510.  

Wender, C.L., Manninen, M. and O’Connor, P.J. (2022) ‘The effect of chronic exercise on energy and fatigue states: A systematic review and meta-analysis of Randomized Trials’, Frontiers in Psychology, 13. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2022.907637.