Staying fit at work

Staying fit at work

May 9, 2016

Encourage your office to get fit

Image credit: iStock/LarsZahnerPhotography

Sitting in an office all day, five days a week doesn’t encourage the healthiest lifestyle. If you want to help keep your employees to stay healthy, even when they are at work, there are a number of ways to do this.

Not only will encouraging your office to get fit help each individual to remain healthy, it can also create a better office environment. As well as fewer sick days, fitness activities will make workers happier, increase social interaction and improve overall productivity.

Here are some great ways to get your employees to be active:

Arrange office workout sessions

Many of your workers may not have time to get to the gym regularly between working and hectic lifestyles, so arranging fitness sessions in the office could be a good idea.

You could organise a morning yoga session, lunchtime pilates or after work boxercise. Many instructors are available to run private sessions at different places so if you have space in your office, this could be a great way to get people moving.

If you don’t want to get an instructor, you could always invest in workout DVDs to put on at certain times to get people moving.

Provide bicycle parking

Cycling to work is a healthy alternative to driving or getting the bus but a lack of safe storage for bikes can put people off. If you provide bicycle parking for staff in a safe location, it could help to encourage them to choose this form of transport.

You could even ensure the office has spare bike locks just in case, as this will ensure workers know they can keep bicycles safe. It is also a good idea to provide changing and shower facilities for when employees cycle into work.

Office football teams

Setting up an office football team can help with team building and encouraging regular exercise.

Arrange one night a week where people can play a couple of friendly matches against each other after work to encourage socialising and to help with overall fitness. Everyone can chip in to pay for the pitch and you can create teams of different abilities if need be.

If football isn’t your office’s thing, there are plenty of other team sports you can get everyone to play.

Physical team building days

If you like to get your employees to do team building training sessions, you can do these away from the office. Get everyone out in the open and working physically as well as mentally.

Things like canoeing, climbing and hiking can all be great ways to get your team to communicate with each other and work together, so see how you can mix training with fitness-building exercises.

Encourage people to get up during the day 

It can be all too easy to simply stay sat at a desk all day, but this really isn’t good for you. You should encourage workers to get up and move around for a while during the day.

Ensure everyone knows that they need to walk a lap of the office every hour, as this can help improve productivity. You may also want to provide some standing desks so people can choose not to sit down at all times.

Even adding some exercise equipment like a treadmill or exercise bike could encourage people to spend some of the day moving.

Arrange gym discounts

If there is no space in the office for workout sessions, try and see if you can arrange discount gym memberships for employees at the closest facilities. This can encourage people to get to the gym if they don’t have to pay full price and if it is near the office, they may be more likely to go at lunch time or in the morning.

Ensure all employees know of the discount to encourage take up. You could even offer rewards for those who log the most gym hours or who achieve certain goals in order to keep people working on their fitness levels.