How To Get Employees Involved In Their Health
Having time for fitness is one of the largest complaints from clients. We hear often, “I can not fit it in around my work schedule.” By listening to client's reasons for why they can not get healthier we can help design programs around these needs. Below are a couple ways to help inspire employees to get and stay healthy.
If you have a gym in your office building offer on site personal training
Having a gym in your office building is an excellent benefit, but it only does any good for employees if they use it! Inspiring employees to become more active can sometimes be a challenge as many people spend hours a week in a car going to work, travel, work early mornings or late nights, have outside commitments and many other time restraints. By offering employees options of fitness within their place of work it is great because it saves them time and extra effort to commute to another location. Many personal trainers, yoga instructors and Pilate's instructors offer on site group classes or one-on-one training. They can utilize the gym equipment or when in need they can bring equipment to you. We've seen trainers working with groups as small as 2 or 3 employees to working with 180+ employees. For employees who do not want a trainer to guide them on their sessions week to week they may rather have the trainer design a plan that they can keep up with on their own and have the trainer check back in on their results at a later date. Helping set up a game plan for long term weight loss and health is half the battle and the other half is being held accountable.
If you have outdoor space offer outdoor boot camp in warm weather
Over the last several years boot camp programs have become more popular in communities and workplace environments. It is a great way for employees to build camaraderie and laugh together while getting fit. There are many styles of boot camp programs many of which can be customized to each companies specific fitness needs. You can determine the best times for your staff, what types of intensity level, duration and equipment used.
Have a dietitian come on site to council employees on eating habits
Local dietitians and nutritionists offer group counseling and individual counseling. You can choose to have it at their office but we have found companies who host it on their campus have greater success and increased attendance due to the convenience. You can choose the topic that you wish for them to discuss or you can ask them to come in for a question and answer session. Many employees take advantage of this type of service since diet and exercise go hand in hand. The amount of people who work out regularly but are still overweight is overwhelming. People have begun to realize that without the diet component the weight will not come off and they are willing to start making healthy choices but do not know where to start.
Stock your office kitchen with healthy options for employees
Starting with cleaning out all the unhealthy options at the office and replacing them with nutritious alternatives seems like a no brainer but is many times overlooked. Remove sodas and sugary trees and replace them with fruit and water. Save employees hundreds of calories a day by performing this simple swap out. Make sure to not just stop there! If your company does weekly donut runs or pizza nights when employees stay late, opt out and switch to salads and wraps to clean up their diet without them having to feel stripped.
Have a weight loss contest with an incentive
Whether it is monetary incentive, a pair of running sneakers, a day off, or a lunch out, you are sure to get a wide range of fitness participants. Healthy competition is a great motivator and you'll be amazed at how much employees will cheer each other on keep keep going with their goals. You can make the challenge individual or a group challenge. You can have each individual pledge the amount of weight that they will lose in a 3 month period. Or you can offer overall company incentive to lose a certain amount of weight as a whole such as 100 pounds in 3 months. Whichever you choose make sure you outline the guidelines and offer check in points so employees do not fall off the wagon. You can also have local personal trainers come in and take body fat, weights and before photos so they can compare their results at the end of the contest.
Pedometer club to encourage walking at breaks and lunch
Offering employees the option to walk at lunch and eat at their desk after helps increase blood flow which in turn helps the brain increase productivity, aids circulation and “wakes” people up mid day. Walk with a friend or hand out inspiring playlists for their iPods to keep them motivated when their walking. The best way to keep track of progress is to log their weekly miles from a pedometer since they should be aiming to take 10,000 steps a day. Reward the winner with a non-food related incentive such as an iTunes gift card or new pair of sneakers.
Have a health fair with local wellness professionals
Partner with local wellness experts such as a chef, nutritionist, doctor, chiropractor, gym, running clubs, personal trainers and nurse. Ask professionals to bring incentives or discounts for services. Offer employees blood pressure testing, spinal exams, spinal adjustments, body fat testing, weigh ins, health handouts and skin cancer screening. Use this to help them ignite the fire to be inspired when they are outside of the office. Make sure to offer this program at a time when the most employees are at work such as at lunch time or right after work to have the best turnout.
Organize a running team that trains for a road race to benefit a charity
Start a couch to 5k program or join a local running club as a group. Employees can also use apps on their phone to keep them motivated when they are not running with the office group to stay on track. The app will talk to them through their ear phones to guide them when to walk and when to run. Employees are less likely to let down a good cause for charity then their own fitness goals.
Encourage employees to drink 64 ounces of water a day. Provide company logo water bottles or a large water dispenser at the office. Drinking water helps hydrate, avoid hunger pains and flush out fat.
No matter what program you choose for you office this is just a sampling of ideas that can help you get started making your workplace healthy. The more people you enlist to be fit at work the better your odds are at keeps with your own weight loss and fitness goals. There is nothing worse than trying to get healthy only to be surrounded by pizza and donuts at work. Make healthy choices one step at a time and they'll start to accumulate.
We love hearing feedback and ideas to help inspire others, as always please feel free to pass on the wellness.