Paris 2024: sport in the workplace, a practice that remains to be developed

This is one of the objectives stated by Paris 2024: to make the Olympic and Paralympic Games (JOP) an accelerator of sports practice

Paris 2024: sport in the workplace, a practice that remains to be developed

This is one of the objectives stated by Paris 2024: to make the Olympic and Paralympic Games (JOP) an accelerator of sports practice. If schools, sports associations or the question of accessibility for people with disabilities are in the sights of the Organizing Committee (Cojop) and the State, sport in a professional environment is also, concerned. “We feel that there is a dynamic developing, with the public authorities taking up the subject,” notes Frédéric Delannoy, national technical director (DTN) of the French Federation of Corporate Sport (FFSE).

Today, around 2.5 million French people play sports in their professional environment, but this practice of physical and sporting activity (PSA) remains underdeveloped. According to a recent barometer carried out by the French Business Movement (Medef) and Paris 2024, only 13% of managers say they have implemented arrangements or solutions in favor of the practice of APS in their company for their employees.

“The financial cost, for example for the installation of showers, and the necessary reorganization of the premises are the main obstacles,” says the employers’ organization. Furthermore, some employees are reluctant to do sports as part of their work, most often for fear of reducing their break time or because they do not feel comfortable in sports clothing and outdoors. effort in front of their colleagues.

A quarter of companies by the end of 2024

However, the majority, 93% of employees and 92% of managers surveyed, consider that it is a good thing for a company to get involved in promoting the practice of APS. The benefits are, in fact, numerous: improvement of individual well-being, better atmosphere at work and image of the company, or even strengthening of links and cohesion between employees. “Sport is an asset for the company,” says Medef. An employee in good health is an employee who feels better and, ultimately, is more productive. »

A second study, carried out with Goodwill-management, shows that depending on the intensity of their sporting practice, an employee saves up to 34% on their health expenses, costs up to 13% less to Social Security and can increase their productivity of 7.9% thanks, in particular, to a reduction in stress and a reduction in absenteeism.

At the beginning of June, the Minister of Sports and JOPs, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, brought together stakeholders from sport, the private sector and the public service to define a plan to accelerate the practice of sport in the professional environment. The objective: for 24% of companies to put in place arrangements for their employees to practice sports by the end of 2024.

“We must establish a tax credit for companies that invest to promote the physical activity of their employees,” argues former MP Régis Juanico (Socialist Party) in the book Bougeons! which he has just published (Jean-Jaurès Foundation and Editions de L’Aube). Citing the example of Quebec, which “since 2019 has financed aid to SMEs”, he also deplores that “a parliamentary amendment requiring new industrial and tertiary buildings to have showers and changing rooms was refused” in March 2022.

Proof of the rise of the theme, in June, France hosted the 2023 edition of the European Corporate Sports Games, where nearly 8,000 employees competed for four days. The “Play your games in business” operation offers challenges. “This month is the diversity race. There will then be a five-a-side rugby tournament in November, then a badminton tournament and another basketball tournament,” explains Frédéric Delannoy. For the three team sports, national finals as well as an awards ceremony during the JOPs are planned.

To reward virtuous companies in terms of sport, the FFSE created a European certification, called Workplace Active Certification (WAC), which was obtained by around ten companies, including three French (Veolia, Roullier and Harmonie Mutuelle). Training for sports management professionals in the specificities of the company was also put in place two and a half years ago. “We trained more than two hundred,” argues Mr. Delannoy. The fact that they feel it is necessary to specialize in this area shows that the subject is important. »

“We have everything in one place here! »

In Seine-Saint-Denis, the Sports and Gymnastics Federation of Work (FSGT) also took up the issue. On the occasion of the move of its premises opposite the Ourcq canal, in Bobigny, in 2021, it created a coworking space with a sports offer and changing rooms. In the elevated work spaces, sports bikes replace the usual chairs, while sports coaches come to lead yoga, cardio, boxing or dance sessions, among others, in the morning before 9 a.m., during the lunch break, in the evening or at the end of the week. “We have everything in one place here! », summarizes Julian, who often had to make numerous trips back and forth to reconcile sport and work.

At La Coloc’de l’Ourcq, people looking for a work space can take out a daily, six-day, monthly or annual subscription. Three prices are set up depending on the annual income level, and sport is included: whether you do the session or not, the price will be the same. “It’s something encouraging,” explains Clément Rémond, co-president of the FSGT-93. There are some who come just to work or leave the house and who, ultimately, take up sport even though they would not have done it on their own. » Claire, for example, has several times been tempted by a midday run. “Sport gives good energy to the place, there is a lot of interaction,” she confides.

In July, the FSGT-93 submitted a file to the National Sports Agency (ANS), as part of the “5,000 sports fields” plan, launched by the State in 2021 with a view to the JOPs. The federation hopes to develop its project and install two other spaces: one for health sports and another for multimodal practice to accommodate a wider audience – schools or sports associations and the leisure center.

Although numerous initiatives have already been put in place, the impact of the JOP on the place of sport in the workplace is nevertheless to be qualified: only 15% of managers say that this encourages them to put in place arrangements. But Frédéric Delannoy remains convinced, “the Games are formidable engines of acceleration”.