It isn’t rocket science: Healthier employees are happier employees! Even better, your employees’ happiness ensures higher retention rates while their good health can cost you less money in insurance premiums. With inactive adults costing around $1500 per year more in medical expenses, many insurers are offering significant discounts for the continued implementation of corporate wellness and fitness programs. Of course, putting a corporate wellness plan into action is far from easy. Between relatively sedentary lifestyles and imbalanced modern diets, the deck can seem stacked against employees in terms of their health and fitness. To make matters worse, an increasing percentage of the workforce is either offsite or working remotely! However, all isn’t lost. We’ve got some great, easy to implement tips regarding group exercise challenges that will work for employees both in and out of the office.
Tip 1: Get on Board With Fitness Bands
Fitness bands are becoming almost ubiquitous today, and studies have shown that band wearers are more likely to become active and stay active than those that don’t wear bands. Odds are that many of your employees may already have their own, but you can consider providing them to employees who do not. Not every fitness band needs to cost an exorbitant amount; simpler but exceptionally well reviewed bands like the Fitbit Charge can be found on sale for below $70. Better yet, bands like the Fitbit allow employees to “friend” each other and join fitness groups. Not only can they can track their own progress, but they can see how they compare to their friends and coworkers!
Tip 2: Start a Friendly Competition and Offer Prizes
Whether you run a small organization and want all employees in the same group or a larger organization that splits employees by age and gender, creating fitness band groups is a great way to start some friendly competition and foster camaraderie amongst employees. No one wants to be the slacker at the bottom of the group, and employees can strive to take the most steps or become the best at burning calories.
There is one thing to consider, though, especially if you choose to incentivize your group with a reward. Be sure to constrain challenges to a set time length – for instance, bi-weekly or monthly – so that the challenges remain fresh. Giving different people opportunities to win will keep the competition from going sour. To mix things up, you can have groups compete against other groups, or provide rewards for categories like “Most Improved”. Otherwise, you can end up with one highly fit individual consistently winning and discouraging the progress of others.
Tip 3: Hire (and Stream) an In-House Group Exercise Leader
Many licensed and highly qualified trainers are willing to conduct on-site training group exercise sessions at extremely affordable rates. Trainers are rarely booked during weekday morning and afternoon hours and are thus very flexible. Whether you choose to offer an exercise session in the morning before work or during the middle of the workday, you won’t be losing effective man-hours. Repeated studies show that physical exercise provides a significant boost to workplace productivity. Even if you take an hour out of the workday several times a week, the subsequent productivity increase in the remaining hours of the day should do more than offset your losses.
Your remote employees won’t be left out either. A multitude of live-streaming options exist for providing your remote and offsite employees with the ability to view and participate in on-site group exercise. Of course, you can track their progress and participation via their fitness bands as well.
A Journey of a Thousand Miles…
… starts with a single step. Implementation of a workplace fitness program is simple, but does take commitment from both your organization and your employees. In addition to these three tips, other steps you can take can include speaking with a major gym chain about obtaining a corporate discount. For instance, chains like Gold’s Gym, LA Fitness, and others have locations nationwide, and remote employees can utilize a corporate membership even if they are hundreds of miles away. Regardless of how you choose to start, implementing a corporate fitness or wellness program has significant benefits for both your organization and your employees. Don’t miss out on both the health and team-building benefits that group exercise challenges can offer. Start your workplace fitness regimen today!