Stress, sitting for hours, artificial lighting – there are a lot of things around the workplace that aren’t always conducive for a healthy, active lifestyle. Not to mention the difficulty of trying to fit exercise into an already packed schedule. For companies it’s a serious concern because inactivity lowers productivity. But the issue is much more dire than improving a company’s profitability.
A sedentary lifestyle can cause a slew of health problems that take employees away from work and lower their quality of life. The World Health Organization now lists inactivity as fourth biggest health problem for adults and attributes it to 9 percent of premature deaths. It’s right up there with smoking cigarettes.
The ONE Thing you can do to improve the wellbeing of employees, increase productivity and lower medical care expenses is get the office moving. Every little bit helps. Even just a few more minutes of activity a day has been shown to make a significant improvement in the health of employees. The simple, creative changes below are a great way to promote staying active in your workplace.
Start a Wellness Committee
Innovative Office Solutions is a healthy company thanks to their wellness committee. This voluntary task force is solely focused on improving the health of employees by providing ways to stay active in the workplace. Your own “wellness committee” can first access the current state of the office activity level, talk to other employees about the situation and come up with specific ideas for your unique workplace. The committee can regularly convene to determine what progress is being made and new ideas to try to keep employees invested.
Take the 10,000 Steps Wellness Challenge Together
Keller Williams RealtyInternational is known for being a workplace that supports being active – Gary is one of the founders after all. Last year the company successfully held a 66-day wellness challenge that got its staff members and associates walking 10,000 steps a day. And this year, the company is currently encouraging its employees to partake in a wellness challenge that rewards them for being healthy in a variety of different ways. Doing challenges as a team help keep everyone involved motivated and on track. Keller Williams Realty International has had such success with their wellness challengesthat they wrote a guide to organizing a wellness challenge for other companies that want to do the same in their office.
Have Standing Meetings
Sitting all day can be hazardous to your health. In fact, according to Mayo Clinic, people who sit all day at work and workout on a regular basis are actually unhealthier than those who spend more time standing.
One way you can get people within your office to get on their feet more often is by holding standing meetings. The benefit here is twofold: 1.) It will give employees the opportunity to get out of their seat and on their feet. 2.) It will help keep meetings focused and short.
Walk and Talk
Have a meeting scheduled? Instead of sitting in office take the meeting outside and walk around while you discuss things. If you need Internet access or have to make notes bring a tablet along so you can stay connected. You’ll also get a dose of healthy vitamin D and exposure to natural sunlight, which boosts productivity.
Motorola is taking this idea one step further at their Chicago headquarters. The office has no landlines and instead every employee has cordless Bluetooth headsets. That way they can walk and talk even when they are in the office.
Offer Standing Desks and Different Seating Options
What if you could burn up to 350 calories a day by simply standing? Doctors from the Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota say their research supports the benefits of standing more. By standing instead of sitting at a desk for 2.5 hours of the day employees can burn calories, improve their health and reduce medical expenses. One of their studies followed Caldrea, an eco friendly cleaning product manufacturer that provides “work-fit” stations in place of standard desks. This gives employees the option to sit or stand while they work.
Similar investments can be made in any office. Supply desks that telescope up and down and exercise balls in place of chairs. Another creative invention is the Cubii, an under desk elliptical trainer.
Initiate a Mid-Day Exercise Break
Instead of the traditional coffee break, give your employees an afternoon break to exercise. The owners of Armstrong Health & Fitness have created six exercises that can be done at a person’s desk in just 10-15 minutes. Another creative solution is to have weekly desk clean outs. At a certain time each week give employees 15-20 minutes to tidy up their desk and get rid of stuff that’s piling up. This will give them a reason to get up and also help create more productive workspaces.
Now is the time to reinvent your workplace into a healthy space that gives employees the means to stay active throughout the day. We’d love to hear about other creative ways that businesses are promoting health and activity in the workplace. Share your ideas with us in the comments section or on Facebook!
Original Source: http://www.the1thing.com/the-one-thing/creative-ways-to-keep-your-employees-active-in-the-workplace/