I want to jump back six months to June 2017 when I accepted a position with Celebrity Staff that would give me a new life challenge. I stepped up to the plate and was excited, renewed, and ready. I did not really consider my routine and the impact that a new job would have on my every day. I learned quickly that 10,000 steps per day is no longer easily attained (thanks trusty Fitbit for the constant reminder). I let so much of my day slip away that I found I only hit 250 steps in three hours and by nights end I averaged 6,000 steps. I need to go back to the days of holding myself accountable to goal up. I tend to let myself get sucked into work, and I have noticed this is a trend in my office. I know I am better at hitting goals when I am surrounded by like-minded people.
The facts are clear for employers, fitness lowers healthcare costs. According to The Five Benefits of Workplace Fitness Culture, a healthy employee costs less. That figure is $1,100 a year for every employee who quits smoking, $1,200 a year on employees who lower their cholesterol levels from 240 mg to 190 mg, and $177 a year for employees who get to a healthy weight.
You may be asking, what is the benefit of exercise in the workplace? Employee attendance will increase, employees will be less stressed and perform better, and fitness will foster teamwork. Employees who exercise together will get to know one another better. Social support creates accountability for employees. When co-workers get together and actively help one another to stay fit, it can change a culture. You shift to environments of cooperation which can lead to increased loyalty and happiness.
Here are a few ideas on how employers can help foster change:
- Set an alarm for two times a day as a reminder to get up and move. Get them out of their work spaces. A change of scenery and interoffice talking will only increase productivity.
- Give a WHEALTH award for a great job, such as a half hour or hour pass away from the desk to accomplish a healthy activity. Examples include walking, leaving early for the gym/class, or taking a cooking class at Hy-Vee. Give WHEALTH awards in pairs.
- Pay for half of a Fitbit and get your employees to join daily/weekly challenges. Group them to compete. Promote WHEALTHY teams!
- Change your food days to activities and your lunch outings to learning together. You can bring fitness professionals in house. Replace donuts with fruit at company events. Try an oatmeal bar.
Getting employees involved who want to be a part of a healthy change is your start. It is not for everyone, but for some it will help with the motivation to set goals and seek the support of another human to make it happen. Why not help foster that environment in the 40 hours a week we spend together?
Christa joined Celebrity Staff in June 2017. She has over 15 years of experience developing talent, hiring, and building teams. Crista joined the Celebrity Staff team so she can take on a consultative role for employers and have the opportunity to share her own experiences. At home she is a busy mom of three who enjoys an active lifestyle and is attempting her next marathon if she can get past nine miles.