Creating Fitness Opportunities for Employees

A healthier, more active workforce is a happier, more productive one. Workplace fitness programs offer tailored opportunities to boost employee well-being. By encouraging at-home workouts, building an in-office gym, creating fitness challenges, or starting fitness groups, you can elevate your employees' health, reduce healthcare costs, and foster a more motivated, contented team. Investing in fitness isn't just good for your employees; it's good for your business. Learn how to make healthy resolutions your team can stick to in the new year.
fitness opportunities

Studies show that sedentary lifestyles are increasingly associated with office work and screen time. Regular physical movement can improve moods, cognitive functions, blood pressure, and insulin sensitivity. Regular exercise can do wonders for employees beyond their physical health, contributing to greater productivity and energy during the workday. Employers must try to create fitness programs tailored to employees’ needs and desires. Keep reading to learn how to create fitness opportunities for your employees!

What is a workplace fitness program?

A workplace fitness program is a workplace wellness initiative that provides employees with fitness opportunities and encourages physical activity. These programs are designed to help employees find ways to enjoy fitness activities and improve their overall health. 

Workplace fitness programs can include various activities, such as informative posters, group fitness activities, fitness stipends, or fitness challenges.

Benefits of Fitness in the Workplace

Providing fitness opportunities to your employees can have many benefits. Regular physical activity can reduce employees’ risk for disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, physical activity improves brain health and reduces one’s risk for heart disease. Additionally, regular physical activity can positively affect one’s mental state. Exercise releases endorphins, which can reduce pain and improve mood.

Having fit employees also provides many benefits for employers. First, healthier employees mean lower insurance costs and fewer workers’ compensation claims due to injury and illness. A workplace fitness program also shows employees that they are valued by their employers, which leads to improved morale and boosted productivity.

Creating a Workplace Fitness Program

Here are some simple steps to create a workplace fitness program that meets the needs of employees.

Assess Current Fitness Levels

Before designing and implementing a workplace fitness program, employers must understand their employees’ current fitness levels and interests. This can be done through comprehensive surveys asking questions about current exercise habits, perceived barriers to fitness participation, and their interest in certain activities. These surveys can identify strategies employers can use to promote fitness among employees.

Additionally, preventative health screenings can identify employee health risks or issues. These screenings provide employees with a snapshot of their overall health and can help employers make appropriate work environment changes to reduce the risk of illness or injury.

Design the Program

After the assessment phase, employers can collaborate with occupational health professionals and employees to create an effective and relevant fitness program. This program should consider the diversity of employees in terms of fitness levels, age, and interests, offering a variety of activities and initiatives to accommodate different preferences and abilities. The fitness program should include a mix of initiatives with both on-site and off-site activities, enabling employees to pick and choose the activities that suit their time, interests, and strengths.

Create a Supportive Environment

The success of a workplace fitness program relies on the creation of a supportive workplace. Employees and employers must be on the same page regarding these fitness opportunities, facilitating communication channels. Employers should also create opportunities for employees to connect regarding their fitness goals, allowing employees to support each other and be accountable for their progress.

Employers can use these steps to create an effective workplace fitness program, providing fitness opportunities to employees that meet their needs and interests.

Strategies for Workplace Fitness Programs

Upon first thought, providing fitness opportunities for employees may seem difficult. Luckily, we have compiled a brief list of ideas for contributing to employee fitness.

Encourage At-Home Workouts

For many, fitness is a very personal thing. Some employees may feel uncomfortable joining a gym or attending fitness classes. Try offering an online fitness service subscription with videos and live workout sessions. Often, these online workouts require very little equipment and are easy for beginners to join in. Additionally, encouraging fitness apps can help employees track their activity and progress and motivate them to do more. If it’s within your company’s budget, offering a stipend or reimbursement for home fitness equipment can encourage employees to partake in more fitness activities.

Build an In-Office Gym

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, full-time employees spend approximately 8.5 hours daily at work. If you have the space and budget available, building an in-office gym space can be a great way to improve employee fitness. This allows employees to work out with quality equipment without going out of their way. According to some surveys, about 77% of respondents said they would work out if a gym were on-site at their office. Though an on-site gym has a high upfront cost, it could save your company money in the long run as employees use it more and become more fit.

Create an Office Fitness Challenge

Some employees may have a competitive edge. Creating a fitness challenge where employees can sign up and compete is a great way to involve those who are more competitive. Setting a big goal for your employees, like running a certain distance, allows them to step up to the challenge and track their progress. Make a deadline or a final event, like hosting a run/walk in your office park. Offering incentives like prizes or charitable donations can entice more employees to participate.

Start Fitness Groups

Working out with a group can keep employees motivated and accountable. Find some employees willing to start a fitness club for various fitness activities, like walking, running, or strength training. Other employees may be more willing to join these groups if employees lead them. 

Creating fitness opportunities for your employees improves your workforce’s health and wellness and contributes to greater organizational effectiveness and success.

How Can We Help?

Work Health Solutions offers comprehensive healthcare solutions for your medical needs. Our qualified team treats patients and employers alike and always provides top-quality service. Our quality service is backed by years of experience working with academic and research institutions, corporate healthcare, Fortune 25 companies, small governments, and local businesses. Reach out today with any questions about how we can assist you!

Work Health Solutions

Work Health Solutions

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Work Health Solutions is dedicated to preserving a safe work environment and improving existing programs and care for local, regional and national organizations.

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Dr. Michael Tenison

A series of notable accomplishments distinguish Dr. Michael Tenison’s career in medical operations and healthcare management:

  • Successfully led medical operations at a national healthcare provider, focusing on optimizing healthcare delivery and patient outcomes.
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Dr. Matt Feeley

Dr. Matt Feeley is a renowned figure in military aviation medicine, with a robust background in occupational and environmental medicine from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. 

  • Former Naval Flight Surgeon, exemplifying his expertise in aerospace medicine and commitment to military health.
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Dr. Glen Cheng

A physician-attorney with a dedication to healthcare innovation, informatics, and digital health.

  • Currently spearheads employee health protection and promotion within the VA Pittsburgh Health Care System.
  • Trained in residency at Harvard, achieving board certification as a physician; also a licensed patent attorney with experience as FDA regulatory counsel.
  • Co-founded Acceleromics, a consulting firm providing clinical and regulatory guidance to digital health startups.

Erin Davis

 Chief Clinical Officer at Work Health Solutions, certified in Adult-Gerontology (AGNP-C) and Athletic Training (ATC).

  • Oversees clinical operations and ensures high clinical standards across the company’s national field staff.
  • Former Manager of Clinic Operations and Occupational Health Nurse Practitioner at Stanford University Occupational Health Center (SUOHC).
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  • Dedicated to sports and occupational injury treatment and prevention.
  • Assistant Clinical Faculty at UCSF, mentoring students in clinical rotations within the Adult Gerontology and Occupational and Environmental Health Program.
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Dr. Robert Goldsmith

Expert in benefits design and onsite innovation with specialization in the pharmaceutical industry.

  • Previous role as Executive Director for Employee Health at Novartis Services, Inc., leading health services and clinical support.
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  • Published works on occupational health risks, primary prevention, and exercise-induced asthma.