Exercise. We all know we should be doing more of it, but life sometimes gets in the way. Work, family, friends … it seems like everybody is making demands on your time, and there’s just not enough of it to go around! And for many of us, the first thing that gets bumped off the list is exercising regularly.
But getting your body moving is important to prioritize! Study after study shows that regular exercise prevents burnout, improves focus, boosts energy, reduces stress levels, combats chronic health conditions, and results in fewer sick days. One way to fit it in? Incorporate exercise into your job description. Exercising at work is worth the time investment, as any time lost exercising is made up for in productivity. Getting sweaty together is also a fantastic way to get to know your coworkers better and build a more cohesive team!
Employees in a summer slump? Here are 10 super simple ideas to help your organization incorporate exercise into the work day:
1. Create the space. You don’t have to install an entire gym in your office to encourage employees to take exercise breaks. Buy some yoga mats, exercise balls, hand weights, resistance bands, and designate an out-of-the-way corner for mini-workouts.
2. Bike to work. Better yet, start a bike gang with coworkers who live in your neighbourhood and cycle together.
3. Start a walk/run club. Post a sign-up sheet for a lunchtime or evening walk/run club, and take turns choosing the route.
4. Channel your inner yogi. Many studios offer lunchtime yoga sessions. Make it easy for your team to attend classes by posting yoga schedules. Send out an email invite with information on nearby classes every Monday, and set an example by attending yourself! With so many different yoga styles available, chances are there’s a class to suit everybody.
5. Join a rec league. At your next company meeting, vote on a sport, and put together a team to join a recreational league!
6. Set goals. It’s way harder to back out of a fitness commitment if others are depending on you. Set a fundraising goal to collect pledges for a cause your team is passionate about, or sign up for a 10 km race as a group.
7. Host a dance party. Get everybody up and moving on a Friday afternoon by blasting (at a respectful, responsible volume level, of course) some tunes. Dancing not really your organization’s thing? How about a Friday afternoon debrief walk and talk?
8. Stand up. Sitting for long periods of time sucks (not to mention it’s hard on your back), so find ways to do it less. Help your team get on their feet by investing in standing desks, and encouraging walking around the office over emailing each other from ten feet away.
9. Get the gadgets. Fitbits, Garmins, Pebbles, Apple watches… there’s oodles of technology available these days to facilitate fitness. Encourage employees to use the tools by entering them into a monthly draw for a fitness device. Encourage staff to make use of free apps available on smartphones such as Endomondo or Strava. Or tap into your organization’s community spirit and do some good while getting some exercise – Charity Miles is an app that allows you to earn money for a cause and get fit at the same time!
10. Flexibility is key. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. Want to reap the benefits of a healthier workforce? Make it easy for them! Make early morning, lunch-time, or post-work workouts possible by letting employees set their own hours.
Your Engaged HR Assignment: Notice everyone in your office seems to be suffering from a summer slump? Now’s the time to make a change and get everyone moving more. Pick 3 strategies from this list and commit to putting them into action!