We’ve spent the past few weeks discussing the importance of exercise for the workplace and how to successfully incorporate exercise into your routine but let’s take this a step further. It only makes sense for employers to encourage exercise based on the cognitive benefits alone. Finding interesting and engaging ways to promote and incentivize exercise can help improve workplace morale, employee satisfaction, and overall productivity. Below is a list of 5 ideas/tips we have compiled to help jumpstart employers on their own corporate health initiatives.
- Offer incentives.
According to healthcaredive.com currently, 86 percent of employers offer financial perks for participation in employee health initiatives. You can give financially- focused rewards for participation such as bonuses or a gift card. Or you could opt for fitness and health-related incentives like a free gym membership for a year or some activity related swag.
- Partner with a local gym, ideally, close to your workplace.
Simply contact prospective gyms touching base with the manager or owner and let them know you’d like to refer your employees to their gym. Typically, most gyms will offer a special group rate or a discount on membership fees. If space permits you can also team up with a personal trainer at said gym and have them come to the office to do group workout sessions.
- Offer flexibility when it comes to their own personal workspace.
For example, allow employees to sit on a balance ball instead of a desk chair which helps strengthen and stabilize core muscles. Another option would be to opt for standing desks, so employees have the variation of sitting and standing throughout the day.
- Encourage a walk or movement during lunch time.
Set up a competition during the work week where employees get credit for doing a 20-minute walk, yoga or stretching session during lunch. At the end of the set period tally the total length of activity per employee and offer different prizes to the winner. For example, encourage a simple 20-minute walk around the local park or shopping center to a stretching or yoga session is an easy way to promote movement during work hours.
- Offer consistent activities
As we know, workplaces thrive on routine, and your employees need a way to 1) know when to show up to something and 2) remember to come back. Increase employee engagement in wellness benefits by holding regular consistent events like Meal Prep Monday where everyone brings in their lunches for the week, and shares recipes and nutrition ideas. In today’s Zoom era, you can even rally your team to attend virtual workout sessions or sign up for weekly meal delivery services that can be prepped on video together.
As we all know, having healthy employees reduces time taken in leave, creates more motivated and happier employees and displays that you care for your team and their well-being. Starting to establish health and exercise incentives is a great way to keep this top of mind at your workplace.