Regular physical movement can improve moods, cognitive functions, blood pressure, and insulin sensitivity. It also reduces the risk of obesity and diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Employees should have access to fitness programs tailored to their needs and desires while still being affordable. This will improve not only their health but also their productivity and satisfaction at work. Keep reading to learn about ways to create fitness opportunities for your employees!
What is a Workplace Fitness Program?
A workplace wellness program is an all-encompassing term that refers to activities that a company uses to improve employee health and wellness. A workplace fitness program is a subsect of a wellness program. 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 like 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 have a positive effect on 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.
Ways to Create Fitness Opportunities for Employees
Upon first thought, it may seem difficult to provide fitness opportunities to employees. 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 not feel comfortable joining a gym or attending fitness classes. Try offering a subscription to an online fitness service that includes videos and live workout sessions. Oftentimes, these online workouts require very little equipment and are easy for beginners to join in. Additionally, encouraging the use of fitness apps can help employees track their activity and progress and even motivate them to do more. If it’s in the budget for your company, 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, people who work full-time spend approximately 8.5 hours a day 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. An on-site gym, though it has a high upfront cost, could save your company money in the long run as employees use it more and become more fit.
Create an Office Fitness Challenge
Some people have a competitive edge. Creating a fitness challenge where employees can sign up and compete is a great way to involve those 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. Be sure to 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 sort of fitness club for various categories of fitness activities, like walking, running, or strength training. Other employees may be more willing to join these groups if they are led by employees.
Creating fitness opportunities for your employees is a great way to improve employee health and wellness. As we head into the new year, consider implementing one of these ideas in your office! Make healthy resolutions you can actually keep.
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