Do you find yourself sitting a lot at work? How about your colleagues? We’re all becoming more familiar with the risks of sedentary lifestyles. But combating those risks is as easy as putting one foot in front of the other.
The question, then, is how do you help get your colleagues to take more steps? Here are a few ideas:
1. Implement a company-wide walking challenge! Employer-sponsored walking challenges are super hot right now, and for good reasons! They’re fun. They’re effective. They encourage employees to interact and motivate each other. And they foster the supportive, health-focused workplace that employees dream of.
Walking is easy enough that almost all staff members can participate, whether fitness novices or fitness buffs. Try a challenge and be amazed at how much your colleagues embrace the new-found motivation! You’ll love how much fun they have together, and seeing that many will continue to step it up long after the challenge ends.
Oh, did we mention LifeBalance offers amazing, customizable walking challenges? Just sayin’.
2. Get pedometers for your team. A study from Stanford Medical School showed that people who use pedometers walk about 2000 steps (or about a mile) more per day than those who don’t. Whether you run a walking challenge or not, simply putting a number on activity levels intrigues and motivates people. Just look at the rapidly growing success of FitBit, MyFitnessPal, BodyBugg, Nike’s Fuelband, and other products and devices that track physical activity.
Can’t afford pedometers for everybody? Making them available for employees to buy at work is often enough, and it’s appreciated. Just ask Providence Health & Services, who in the last few years have sold more than 14,000 partially-subsidized LifeBalance pedometers to their employees! Employees are more likely to buy a pedometer if it’s conveniently on sale in the cafeteria (and if their colleagues are buying them) than they are to seek one out on their own.
3. We know we say this all the time, but that’s because it’s fun and effective: organize voluntary group walks near the office. Schedule them before work, after work or on employee breaks; the last option will be appreciated by employees who have trouble finding time to exercise. Inform everyone by sending out email reminders or invites, leaving flyers in break rooms or posting on the company intranet.
These walks don’t have to be long treks! Breaking walks up into smaller segments (even just 10 minutes here or there) throughout the day is just as effective as doing it all at once. Getting up and moving is all that matters. Bonus: those little breaks of fresh air and movement can boost mental focus and productivity, so your boss may thank you!