Cultivating a Health-Promoting Performance Culture at Iron Software

Updated August 10, 2023

At Iron Software, our commitment to fostering a healthy and high-performing workplace extends beyond the realm of code and algorithms. We understand the vital link between physical and mental well-being and how it impacts our employees' productivity and overall satisfaction.

Vlad, Director of Web Development and Data, has been instrumental in championing a health-promoting performance culture at Iron Software.

The Power of Physical Fitness

For Vlad, physical fitness has always been a priority. Even amidst the demanding nature of his role, he makes it a point to work out weekly, ideally striving for 4 workouts. "I feel better in every aspect of my life when I exercise," Vlad shares. This commitment to fitness has been deeply ingrained in him, and he recognizes the profound impact it has on his mental well-being and sense of accomplishment.

Numerous studies support the connection between physical health and optimal job performance. For instance, a study conducted by Pronk et al. (2004) found that employees who engaged in regular physical activity experienced fewer sick days and higher levels of productivity compared to their sedentary counterparts. This demonstrates the positive influence of physical health on work-related outcomes.

The Connection Between Physical and Mental Health

Vlad firmly believes in the connection between physical and mental health. He emphasizes that maintaining regular exercise not only enhances his physical well-being but also sharpens his mental clarity at work. "I really believe mental health and physical health are connected," Vlad explains. "I have more clarity at work when I'm physically fit." This holistic approach to well-being has inspired Vlad to share his insights and encourage his colleagues at Iron Software to prioritize their physical health as well.

Research consistently highlights the reciprocal relationship between mental health and physical health. One study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine by Chen et al. (2019) found that employees who engaged in regular physical activity experienced lower levels of stress, anxiety, and depression. These findings suggest that maintaining good physical health positively impacts mental well-being, leading to improved job performance and overall satisfaction.

Last year Vlad motivated close to 80% of Iron team members to join the Spartan Challenge, with the company funding the entrance fees and providing shirts.

“I really appreciate working somewhere that supports this kind of initiative...sometimes we all just need a bit of encouragement, and it gets everyone working out, and participating.”

More recently Vlad was a driver of the company including an on-site gym in their expansion, providing a convenient space for small workouts and promoting physical activity during working hours. Vlad's latest accomplishment is the creation of the "Iron Challenge," a monthly team competition designed to foster camaraderie and friendly competition among team members.

Building Mental Fortitude

Vlad firmly believes that physical fitness plays a crucial role in developing mental fortitude. By challenging himself physically, he has gained the confidence and determination to tackle complex projects with ease. "Knowing I can run a marathon makes me feel like I can accomplish a great deal more," Vlad affirms. When faced with a large project, he approaches it methodically, breaking it down into manageable tasks, much like he would approach a demanding training regimen.

Zainab Kemsley, who oversees recruitment efforts at Iron Software, says:

“We see real results from this. Iron Software health initiatives and free healthy lunches improve the well-being and success of our team. It’s part of the appeal to new joiners.” -- Zainab Kemsley

Continuing on, Zainab says, “we support Vlad’s efforts because fostering an environment that encourages regular exercise makes for a team who have mental clarity, resilience, and approach challenges with determination.”

Iron Software recognizes the interplay between physical and mental health. In conclusion, Zainab says that “Iron are committed to nurturing a workplace where the pursuit of excellence is coupled with a profound respect for employee well-being, ultimately leading to enhanced job performance and overall satisfaction.”


  1. Pronk, N. P., Martinson, B., Kessler, R. C., Beck, A. L., Simon, G. E., Wang, P., & Sloan, J. H. (2004). The association between work performance and physical activity, cardiorespiratory fitness, and obesity. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 46(1), 19-25.
  2. Chen, H., Wu, Y., Huang, S., Zhuang, J., Zhang, L., Guo, B., ... & Luo, J. (2019). Association between physical activity and depression in 46 low- and middle-income countries. Journal of Affective Disorders, 253, 363-370.
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