By Ann Wyatt, Vice President, Program Management & Engagement
If you asked your employees if they would like to get more exercise, most would agree that they would like to be more physically active, but finding time for fitness is challenging.
Why is it so important for your employees to be active? Consider the facts:
- Physical inactivity and its adverse health effects are comparable to that of smoking and obesity. (1)
- Sedentary jobs have increased 83 percent since 1950. (2)
- More than 80 percent of American adults do not meet the recommended amounts of physical activity. (3)
Not only does being physically active boost the health of your employees, but it’s good for your business as well. Research shows that workers who exercise during the day reported a 15 percent boost in performance, a happier mood and increased ability to meet deadlines. (4)
Employers invest in corporate fitness
At HealthFitness, we currently have 100+ corporate fitness clients and deliver staff and fitness and wellness management services at more than 200 of their campus locations, serving more than 500,000 eligible corporate employees nationwide.
We know that on-site corporate fitness classes can be a great medium to improve employee health and infuse movement into sedentary lifestyles. Yet, even without an on-site fitness center there are simple ways you can help your employees find time for fitness and support their overall health and well-being.
One way we have found success with our corporate fitness and health management client sites is in changing their perception of how much time it takes to be healthy—offering short, convenient sessions for fitting in fitness.
Here are eight more examples of how you can help your employees find time for fitness.
Leadership support. At one of our technology client sites, a focus group shared that a key barrier to participation was an underlying perception that if they were seen working out, they will be perceived as slackers and not working. We helped change that perception by recruiting C-suite leadership to work out while on the clock, opening the door for employees to see that fitness was a priority all the way up the ladder.
Offer a variety of fitness options. To appeal to the range of ages and diversity of employees at a leading biotech company, HealthFitness offers a variety of 15 group exercise classes each week—from strength training to Pilates to HIIT (high-intensity interval training) classes.
Extend hours of corporate fitness center. At one of our manufacturing client sites, the staff has extended the hours of the fitness center early and late to accommodate different work shifts. At another site, employees at a high-tech company work a variety of hours throughout the day. To meet the needs of this diverse group of employees, the fitness center is open 24/7 and is staffed from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Step up to better health. An eight-week walking program at a leading car manufacturing company encourages participants to use pedometers to track steps taken on the production line, in the lunchroom, during breaks, off campus and at home.
Take a hike at work. Walking trails give employees the opportunity to exercise at work. At one of our client sites, the trails are clearly marked and measured so employees can keep up with how far they walk. Employees can walk a shorter route during breaks and take a longer walk during lunch.
Encourage at-desk workouts. To inspire employees at a biotech client site to sit less and move more, HealthFitness staff host 15-minute energy breaks in conference rooms where employees learn workouts do to at their desks.
Extend your reach with virtual fitness
Virtual fitness offers a cost-effective, scalable way to meet more employee and family needs to keep them thriving—at work, at home, and on the go.
Our partnership with WELLBEATS allows HealthFitness to offer their virtual fitness programs to employers—helping all employees, even family members, engage in fitness and wellness at work, on the go and at home by extending the reach of our health, wellness and fitness options.
1. ABC News
2. Amercian Heart Association
3. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
4. NBC News
About the author:
Contact us to learn more about our fitness solutions and how we can get (and keep) your people moving.
Ann is Vice President, Program Management & Engagement and has 25 years of experience in the health management and fitness industry. Her role includes strategy development and driving engagement for new and existing health management and corporate fitness programs, employee recruiting and training, program quality assurance and operations management. Ann holds a bachelor’s degree in physical education from Old Dominion University and a Master of Education in Exercise Physiology from Auburn University.