Well-being and leadership: a matter of sport

Since ancient times it has been known that sporting practice helps the maintenance of cognitive functions and, today, it becomes so actual and important for the holistic well-being of the person and professionals forced to work constantly from home. 

Several studies have proved how physical activity allows our muscles to unload toxins and harmful substances accumulated by the body, reducing the level of depression linked to stress. 
Regular activity, combined with a healthy diet, can be a miraculous for your emotional and physical well-being
Indeed, doing physical exercises increases the production of natural antioxidants and improve skin health and, in addition, activates the body’s self-protection mechanisms thanks to the biochemical changes. Similarly, it reduces the feeling of pain and helps to sleep better.

Physical activity is a fundamental for our well-being but is often neglected for work commitments.
Recently, in parallel with the huge affirmation of smart working several companies have implemented courses of “virtual gym” available to their employees: these sessions became real occasion the of sharing and training having sporting sessions of yoga or pilates.
Health, nutrition, fitness and lifestyle are not only closely connected, but they determine each other, largely defining the quality of life. 

Giving relevance to these themes means promoting both personal and environmental well-being, which means transforming the office, although it is virtual, into a real wellness environment.
In Sweden, for example, having physical activities has become a contractual obligation, as in the case of Kalmar Vatten, Stockholm’s water management company, or as the company created by the famous Swedish tennis player Bjorn Borg, in which employees have to go to gym, once a week.

Predominantly in Asia, industries have been ‘obliging’ their employees to have physical activity in the workplace and in Japan there are several companies that have entered calisthenics programs, which are asked to participate indifferently both in workers and employees, as well as top executives.
An increasing number of companies is focusing on employee health by encouraging physical activity within the workplace itself: studies and best practices show how in this way productivity increases, absenteeism decreases and promoting wellbeing develops a concrete sense of belonging and it also increases social relationships within the workplace.

The University of Laughborough found a correlation between physical activity and well-being not only in individual results but also in group and team performances: indeed, researchers found that a high state of well-being has a positive impact on many aspects of life of the worker by helping cardio-respiratory system, physical, mental (behavioral) health and well-being in general together with colleagues performances.

Sport, indeed, can make a substantial contribution by strengthening self-confidence, enhancing decision making skills, increasing speed of action: training and competitive play are the leader’s greatest allies. 

For example, playing sports with colleagues means giving up the hierarchies for at least a few hours, destroying the barriers between different positions and roles and it becomes a good way to promote communication and involvement of all team members, stimulating the sharing of ideas between them who are also professionally distant.

In these conditions, it becomes much easier to orient the members of a team and an entire company towards common goals, both in the game and in the work.

Whatever the position you hold in the company, it is always important to associate the ability to work in a team with leadership skills, which can prove decisive on several occasions.

Motivation, leadership, team sense, concentration and endurance are just some of the values ​​that go hand in hand between management and sport.

A true leader must be highly motivated and determined, always focused and on the piece, strong and resistant to stress and tension and must be able to believe in teamwork, so as to be able to guide one – or more – to success.

According to the sociologist David Le Breton, the current trend to practice high intensity sports disciplines such as Triathlon, CrossFit, Trail and Endurance is becoming increasingly popular among professionals and top managers.

Among the sports practiced by managers there is no shortage of tennis and some love free climbing, but it remains a sport that often ends up not being practiced constantly, due to the complex search for suitable structures.

On the other side, another practice that is increasingly widespread, especially among professionals constantly on the move, is to find emotional stability that can relax the mind and improve the oxygenation of the body through yoga.


Paolo Carito
University Sport Management Lecturer
Sport Industry C-level  Manager
[email protected]

Paolo CARITO is a Doctor of Law graduated from the University of Bari in Italy. After moving to Rome, he completed his studies with a Postgraduate Diploma in Communications & Public Relations and after a few years, with a second Master’s Degree in Economics and Politics of International Relations at the LUMSA University.


From September 2019 Director of Strategic Development, Sales & Marketing in Lega Pro (Serie C) he is responsible for drafting the 2020-2023 business plan and setting the overall positioning strategy of the third-highest division in the Italian football league system.

At the same time, he has been appointed as Health City Advisor of the city of Chianciano Terme (Tuscany) in charge of supporting the city council in defining the main strategy for promoting healthy lifestyles and enhancing sports policies.


Currently he is a Visiting Professor of Sports, Ethics and Managerial Skills at the Luiss Guido Carli University and of Organization and Project Management of Sporting Events at the 24 Ore Business School. Over the years he has carried out an intense activity of Lecturer being recognized as one of the leading experts in sports economy and management of sporting events.


Agostino Piacquadio
Marketeer & Sport Industry Expert
[email protected]