Workplace Wellness Strategies

Keep Your Employees Motivated to Exercise All Year Round

exercise in the workplace; employee wellness challenges, employee fitness challenges, employee exercise programsHow do you keep your employees motivated to exercise, especially throughout the holiday season?

Fall is officially here, and the holidays are right around the corner. It can be a very exciting and busy time of the year.  Many individuals are very motivated to get out and enjoy the cooler weather right now, exercising and getting more activity. But how often does this fizzle out as the craziness of the holidays near? We often hear from our employers and employees alike that they have a difficult time fitting exercise into their already hectic schedules. Consistent exercise adherence is essential to sustained well-being yet one of the most common obstacles for the busy worker.  Study after study confirms that physical activity is like medicine for our bodies as it helps prevent heart disease, obesity diabetes, certain types of cancer and more. It also plays an important role in managing stress and weight management, which typically are impacted during the holiday season. How do you keep exercise and wellness on the forefront for your workforce during this time of year?

Exercise promotion in the workplace can keep your employees engaged and productive through hectic times.

Whether it’s holidays, natural disasters or annual deadlines at work, regular wellness programming that promotes exercise and active living can increase the ability to cope and maintain good health. It’s important to remind employees that even during stressful times, they should use a proactive approach to fitting exercise into their busy schedules. The workplace is the ideal place to encourage and inspire this. Employees spend the majority of their waking hours at work and for many they are sitting during the majority of that time. If you can encourage them to take short active breaks at work, their energy levels will increase over time. This can result in improved health, better focus, improved productivity and decreased risks over time. You also create a culture that supports an active lifestyle. When your employees feel supported in doing more activity during their workday, they tend to value the benefits of exercise more. With adequate workplace wellness programming, this can be achieved effectively without interfering with work performance.We believe it should also be carefully tailored to the dynamics and logistics of your company. There are many ways to make a positive impact without disrupting the work flow. Sometimes initiatives that consist of very quick, but meaningful sessions make a greater imprint on people. Whatever your challenges may be, you need to be confident that the end result of consist wellness promotion in the workplace will inspire healthier, more productive employees.

Consider some of the following strategies to keep your employees motivated to exercise:

  • Incorporate a fitness challengeDepartmental, team or individual challenges are a great way to get employees motivated and moving more. We’ve done so many different challenges with our client groups. Majority of employees enjoy some friendly competition or working towards a nice incentive drawing, but it’s important to prepare and roll out a challenge in a positive way that includes the majority. Making it too complicated or difficult can quickly discourage individuals who may need it most.
  • Schedule an organized walk: It’s about awareness with this one. A designated ‘Walk at Lunch’ event has been a great success with our groups. This is an opportunity to gather as a group right as the weather is at its best. Map out a 1-mile walking route around your workplace campus or at a nearby public park. It’s an opportunity to show employees how beneficial a short walking break during the workday can be. Employees will leave feeling energized and motivated to do more. Most importantly, it supports improving your company’s culture of wellness.
  • An onsite group exercise class: We do this for a number of our current clients. If a space is available, we send one of our fitness instructors to the work-site to lead a group exercise class. You may find that many of your employees can do a class or workout right before work or during their lunch break but would otherwise not be able to fit it into their busy day. For example, a working parent who gets kids off to school in the morning, picks them up from after care and goes right to the ball field until late in the evening doesn’t logistically have time to visit the gym or do a regular exercise program.
  • Mini activity or stress breaks: This has been one of our most successful  initiatives lately. Our ‘Something’s Gotta Give’ Stress and Energy Breaks involve very short, but effective sessions that give the busy worker valuable and practical skills they can begin to use on their own daily. Employees tell us that these short breaks inspired them to start getting up from their desk and stretching or moving more. When done consistently, they begin to feel better and have more energy. They often find themselves wanting to do more activity when they leave work.

At SB Wellness, we strive to give our employers the tools they need to help create a happier, healthier workplace environment with more productive employees. Ask us about our program that can support exercise and overall well-being for your team. If you would like more ideas on how to create a more dynamic workplace environment for your team, contact us today for a free consultation.

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