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How can sport be put at the service of workers' health? (Analytical Note 298 - October 2012)

How can sport be put at the service of workers' health? (Analytical Note 298 - October 2012)


Regular and moderate physical activity and sport are a key factor to improve people's health. They should be encouraged in workplaces to enable the practice of everyone, including women and the elderly.

  • How can sport be put at the service of workers' health?

R egular and moderate physical activity and sport, are recognized by the medical authorities as a factor in improving health . Among the obstacles to their development are a lack of awareness and lack of time for many people.

This analytical note is partly taken from a study conducted in 2012 by the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), for Centre for Strategic Analysis (CAS) to go into greater depth on the basis of a previous note on mass sport. The aim is to  evaluate more precisely how the workplace can contribute to the development of sport and physical activity for all. The government's interest (objective of 30 minutes of physical exercise per day) joined that of employers and employees (better health at work).

For a long time, sport in business has only been understood through the "values" that it allegedly embodies: performance, competition and team cohesion. But recent studies have shown the positive effects of regular physical exercise in the workplace on the health of employees: reduced absenteeism, increased work capacity, well-being. These results are especially important in the current context of longer careers. However, only 13% of French people who do sport do it at their workplace. Any action encouraging sport in the workplace must take into account of the limits of the employer's role in the matter. In addition, while promoting a logic of targeting, it is important to avoid inequalities between employees of small and large organizations.


  • A still underdeveloped practice despite a high potential
  • What means to be implemented in order to allow everyone to do sport in the workplace
  • Author: Marie-Cecile Naves, Social Affairs Department .

Tags: sport, physical activity, health, labor, seniors, women.


Centre d’analyse stratégique