7 ways to help your employees be active and stay active together

HR professionals, you know that healthier employees are happier employees. Apart from elevated happiness levels, healthier offices also enjoy enhanced productivity, superior quality of work and strengthened employee relationships.

Here are seven ways to encourage a health-first office mentality, get your employees to start exercising together and start enjoying the rewards:

1. Encourage a proper work/life balance

When employees are constantly under tight deadlines, work odd hours or feel stressed from the moment they walk in the door, they are unable to even consider working out with their peers. If your workers are overloaded, help redistribute work or suggest better processes so they have time to participate in your office activities.

2. Publicize a mid-day exercise break

Have a break room? Hang a sign over the microwave or on the fridge encouraging people to get out and exercise over lunch with blanks for folks to form teams or “squads.” Include directions to nearby walking trails and contact information for local yoga studios or fitness workshops.

3. Sign up for local walks and runs

Northeastern Wisconsin and the Fox Valley are home to a long list of charity and fun runs and walks. If you’re having a hard time kick-starting a wellness initiative, a good cause or a quirky reason to participate might be just what you need. Check out our list of runs and walks taking place in Wisconsin this summer. Have an office that loves chocolate? Don’t miss #17 on our list.

4. Get outside whenever possible

When you plan company outings, do your very best to hold them outside. Your team will be more likely to stretch their legs and soak up some vitamin D from the sunshine. If you’re ambitious, you might even hold standing meetings outside and open them with a physical icebreaker, i.e. bocce ball before your budget meeting.

5. Distribute healthy office swag

Folks are likely to exercise together at work if the right equipment is on hand. If you’re encouraging lunchtime yoga, make balls, straps and mats readily available. Trying to set up a team sport? Hand out funky branded jerseys and sweatbands — your team will feel a sense of camaraderie every time they put on their swag.

6. Inspire togetherness

Workplace wellness works better when employees work out together. Whatever activity or sport you’re planning, encourage your team members to find a buddy or a group that can serve as a support network. Members of this network will help their coworkers stay motivated. It’s much easier to stick with a workout regimen when you have peers backing you up.

7. Incentivize health initiatives

Now that your office is exercising together, how do you keep it going? The best way is to reward folks for participating and keep rewarding them as they hit milestones. For example, if your business is trying a 10,000-steps-a-day challenge, reward people with a bumper sticker (“I’d rather be walking”) for signing up, then a t-shirt (“I would walk 5,000 steps … and I would walk 5,000 more / 10,000 steps per day, all month long”) when they’ve participated for four full work weeks.

Once you’ve started the office exercise ball rolling, it’s time to make sure your workplace wellness programs meet your corporate needs.

Security Health Plan is a not-for-profit insurance carrier that partners with human resources professionals in their mission to keep employees healthy and improve quality of work along the way. Contact Security Health Plan online today to set up a tailored wellness program that fits your organization’s unique goals.