In The Fitness Of Things

Updated: Aug 31 2003, 05:30am hrs
Korean consumer electronic goods major LG Electronics may have given you all the gizmos that help you de-stress after a long days work, but the company, which set up shop in 1997, hasnt forgotten its own employees either. The company set up its Greater Noida factory in 1998. By 1999, it started a gym within its premises for its employees. The initial investment in the gym was nearly Rs 15 lakh.

We wanted to provide some form of stress relief to our employees and a number of our employees were asking for some form of physical exercise, says Dr Y V Verma, vice-president, HR and Management Support, LG Electronics India.

Dr Verma says that the philosophy at LG is simple. Keep your employees healthy. If the body is healthy, then the mind is also healthy, he says. The average age of an LG employee is 25-26 years. Dr Verma says, In the last seven years, a new breed of corporate executives has arrived, who believe that to have a successful corporate life, its important to have a healthy body.

The LG gym houses a good mix of cardiovascular and strength equipment. All the equipment has been procured from fitness major LifeFitness of the US. There are treadmills, exercycles, trimmers, bench presses and steppers. Dr Verma clarifies that it is not compulsory for employees to go to the gym. But a lot of employees talk about the gym. When they are tired and when they feel their limbs are aching, they head for the gym. The gym is open 24 hours, and on an average, nearly 130 employees use it every day, a quarter of these being women.

LG also offers its employees table tennis tables and lawn tennis courts. Plus, it holds Osho and transcendental meditation (TM) classes frequently.

Just four months ago, we had organised a seven-day workshop on Yoga for our employees, says Dr Verma. Last year, 90 employees from the company went for a three-day trek to Annapurna.

LG also boasts of an informal club called Khatron Ke Khiladi (K3). The club has about 200 members and the average age is 23-24 years. K3 members take short breaks from work every now and then to indulge in activities such as rock climbing and trekking. Only a few days ago, the club went for a car rally, says Dr Verma. LG not only encourages this spirit of adventure in its employees, but also foots the bill for such expeditions.

We will take a regular look at different corporate houses and what they are doing to keep their employees fit.