HOW TO INSPIRE A CULTURE OF FITNESS IN THE WORKPLACE: 4 SIMPLE STEPS
A number of companies are starting to see the benefits of wellness in the workplace. From improving employee’s happiness which is directly linked to their levels of productivity, a healthy workplace allows for not only healthy and happy employees but a boost in sales and your company’s bottom line.
To fully understand the benefits of workplace wellness we wrote a blog on the topic which you can have a look at right here: 8 reasons why your company needs a wellness program.
Personal wellness is a top priority
As working professionals, our personal wellness is of top priority and when a company enables its employees to work in an environment that supports their personal health and wellness, it creates loyalty, decreases sick days and creates a workplace that boosts morale and decreases stress levels.
One of the first steps to improving personal wellness in the workplace is to inspire a culture of fitness. But it takes more than just some healthy snacks in the breakroom and encouraging employees to take the stairs.
More than a few simple acts of wellness
To truly make a difference in the lives of your employees and sustain these positive results, you need to create healthy habits of wellness in the workplace, it’s these habits that help develop a culture of health and fitness.
It’s important to understand that whilst a culture of fitness is important to implement and sustain, as a company, you need to look at the bigger picture of corporate wellness. Which is why it helps to get some professionals in to help. Wellness coaches offer expert advice and implement effective practises to improve the wellness culture in your office.
In any case, one of the first steps to creating a culture of wellness is to inspire a culture of fitness.
Why fitness matters
Exercise is known to make you feel good. From the runner’s ‘high’ to the great feeling you get after working out, even when you go for a brisk walk around the block, exercise does more than just improve your physical health, but it also taps into our mental wellbeing on a number of positive levels. As with healthy eating and positive thinking, exercise helps us to feel great about ourselves which has a direct impact on our work lives.
So, how great would it be if your place of work inspired this kind of healthy living? It would be amazing.
1. Get moving – step up to fitness
It’s all about the little efforts that make the big difference. Rewarding employee’s ‘stepping’ milestones is a great way to encourage movement.
For example, set daily goals of 10 000 steps a day. Those who reach this goal for 10 days in a row are celebrated and rewarded with discounted gym memberships or healthy snack baskets.
Walking meetings offer a fun alternative to the boring boardroom.
Provide safe bike parking for those who cycle to work.
Did you know that staff who spent 30 to 60 minutes working out during their lunch break reported an average performance boost of 15%? Encouraging staff to work out during lunch and better yet, providing them with the space to do so is a great way to improve productivity.
2. Bring fitness into team building
Fun soccer games, 5k fun walks/runs or even jumping on trampolines at Bounce are all fun and engaging ways to interact as a team.
3. Offer yoga and meditation classes
During lunch and after work, bring in a yoga instructor or offer a meditation class for those who want to get involved. You can also offer this before work starts in the morning to ensure employees start their day feeling relaxed and ready to take on the challenges of the day.
4. Clear communication and celebration is key
It’s all fine and well having these various fitness and health opportunities available to employees, but you need to ensure that they know about them too!
And what’s more, your staff need to know that you care about them. A fitness culture in the workplace will not happen without reinforcement.
This means you need to create a clear communication plan and timeline that lets employees know exactly what activities will be taking place and when as well as what rewards and incentives are linked to these activities.
It’s important that you reward and celebrate those who take part in fitness challenges. As mentioned earlier, some rewards include:
- Discount gym memberships
- Healthy snack baskets
- Healthy reward vouchers for shops like Total Sports or Sportsmans Warehouse
- Free yoga vouchers
The list goes on.
Open up an honest conversation around fitness in your business. Talk about topics like work and personal life balance and nutrition. Create an environment where employees are encouraged to talk openly about their health and mental wellbeing and have the right tools to improve their health.
It starts at the top
Don’t forget that effective fitness in the workplace starts with the boss. As a leader, your staff will follow you so ensure you set a good example and take part in the various fitness activities in the office.