In May, we celebrated National Employee Health and Fitness Month, which encourages physical activity in the workplace. According to UnitedHealthCare, more than 70% of employers offer some kind of health and wellness program. Some of the elements of these programs include biometric testing, on-site flu shots, smoking cessation plans, and other various health and wellness activities. But, how can employers keep their employees engaged, healthy, and excited about health and wellness programs that focus on moving more in the workplace? While National Employee Health and Fitness Month may be over, here are a few creative ways to get employees engaged and committed to moving all year long!
1. Encourage Employees to Take a Break
Sitting eight hours a day at work can lead to poor circulation, which is why it is so important for employees to get up and take a break. Standing for at least a few minutes throughout the work day can help increase blood flow and circulation while keeping the feeling of being sluggish as the work day progresses. If you see that some of your employees are laser focused on their duties and rarely stand up or take breaks, encourage them to step away from their desk and take a break!
2. Motivate Employees to Organize a Lunch Time Walking Club
Some employers offer incentives for exercising such as, free pedometers or cash for taking a certain amount of steps each quarter. If your company’s budget allows it, consider offering monetary perks or workout gear to incentivize employees to get up and move. Encourage your employees to join together on breaks and their lunch hour to take 10 or 15 minutes to walk outside and enjoy the day—especially on great weather days. It’s no surprise that walking is healthy, but it can help employees improve their mood and allow themselves to decompress from the stress of the day—keeping them active and alert for the remainder of the day.
3. Encourage Employees to Take the Stairs
Is your company offices in a high-rise building? Then, you’re one of the lucky ones! Little efforts like encouraging employees to take the stairs each day can make a big difference. Encourage employees to opt to taking the stairs instead of the elevator when they have a meeting and when they arrive and leave for the day. These little efforts each day might surprise your employees on just how many steps a person can get in a day. Plus, climbing stairs is one of the best cardio exercises to burn the maximum amount of calories in the shortest period of time especially if you’re limited on time to exercise. And who doesn’t love that?
4. Conduct Walk-and-Talk Meetings
Research shows that walking and talking can increase creative thinking, lead to increased productivity, and produce a more honest exchange of ideas than traditional office meetings. Of course, not all meetings can be conducted like this, but consider hosting a walk and talk meeting and see where it takes you.
5. Email and Share Weekly Healthy Tips
Daily health tips can be a low-cost and efficient way to communicate the latest health and wellness trends. Find the best method to disseminate communication that fits your business and focus each week on a particular subject so employees stay engaged. Keep the health and wellness tip current so you capture the attention of more employees. For example, Mondays could be a healthy cooking tip, Tuesdays can be the stretch of the day, and Wednesdays can be a new exercise to try at work. In addition, sharing these healthy tips can inspire employees to share their successes with their colleagues and encourage them to be more active at work and home.
Make no mistake, investing in the well-being of employees can affect your bottom line and help create a productive workforce. Finding your company’s healthy balance between work and wellness can lead to a more productive, stronger, and happier workforce with sharper minds, positive attitudes, and employees who take fewer sick days.
Share how you inspire employees to get moving! If your wellness program is new, consider reading How to Tell if your Corporate Wellness Program Will be a Total Fail for helpful tips to ensure your health and wellness program is a success!