As a member of an organization that really tries to encourage physical and emotional health, I have been exposed to a variety of activities aimed at increasing these two things.
Small time commitments can lead to huge results when a company starts trying to cater to their work force's wellness needs.
Exercise can be fun, and when it is engrained in a corporate culture, it can catch like wild fire.
In this article, I've listed some creative and fun ways to engage your workers without making it seem like work. In fact, these are the five major contributors to the high commitment to physical fitness in my company.
Fitness Factor #1: Walking
In our building, people are encouraged to walk during breaks instead of sitting and snacking on chocolate and sodas. This not only engages the body, but it can also engage the mind. While on these power walks, employees often end up discussing their work and enjoy doing so from somewhere other than the confines of a cubicle.
This can breed creativity and help your business. It may seem like a little thing, but it isn't uncommon to see five to ten people walking around the indoor loop and chatting. In fact, this is what started to fuel the push for reform to a healthier environment in our workplace.
Fitness Factor #2: The Wiffle Ball Tournament
One spring there was a wiffle ball tournament between the different departments within my company.
It's now an annual event. Not only does this help create a sense of community and camaraderie, but it also is a physical activity that gets people out of their desks and moving around. Building a corporate culture that supports physical activity begins with this sort of stepping stone.
Fitness Factor #3: The Exercise Room
Many companies, including mine, actually offer employees some type of exercise room. It doesn't have to be very big, but in some case it can also house a changing area with showers and lockers. This may be a step to take after the company grows. Once you do have an exercise facility within the company, employing a flex time style of scheduling can encourage employees to go to the gym during an extended lunch hour.
Fitness Factor #4: Free Gym Memberships
Companies often support a healthy culture by giving out free memberships to various health clubs in the community. However, this doesn't necessarily mean that they will be used. It is a fine line to walk between encouraging attendance and demanding it. If exercise begins to feel like a chore, people will be less likely to participate in a program.
Hopefully, the company culture will enable people to take trips to the gym together. The more fitness and wellness are engrained in the company ethos, the more likely people will take time away from leisure activities to pursue a healthier lifestyle.
Fitness Factor #5: Contests and Acclaim for Fitness Success Stories
Sometimes a little attention can go a long way. Having contests for things like weight loss, body mass index (BMI), fat percentage loss, or waist size reduction can help motivate employees. Prizes for winners in addition to the pride and self satisfaction they will receive can also sometimes encourage participation.