Written by: Lynne Reagon

Increasing employees’ physical activity can create an improved workforce, increase employees’ productivity, and decrease employees’ risk of developing chronic diseases. Employees who are physically active have lower healthcare costs, require less sick leave, and are more productive at work. In addition to this, it has been shown that moderately or extremely obese employees experienced the greatest health-related work restrictions, specifically regarding time needed to complete tasks and meet physical job demands.

How to increase physical activity in the workplace?

  • Offer secure bicycle storage and showers for employees who actively commute.
  • Implement flexible scheduling—making it easier for employees to have time for exercise while juggling work and home responsibilities.
  • Encourage workers to take brief, 2-3 minute fitness breaks throughout the day for brisk walking, stretching, or stair climbing.
  • Offer free or reduced-cost pedometers to employees. Run a simple steps-per-week competition for increasing daily steps.
  • Sponsor employee participation in community events. 

Benefits of including physical activity in the workplace

  • Decrease work related stress
  • Increase productivity
  • Increase team building amongst employees
  • Decrease employee presenteeism

Reference list

http://exerciseismedicine.com.au/wpcontent/uploads/2016/11/EIM_Workplace_PA_Guide.pdf

www.workhealthresearchnetwork.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/CDC-WHRN-Physical-Activity_Employer-Guide-FINAL.pdf

http://journals.lww.com/joem/Abstract/2009/07000/The_Effect_of_Worksite_Physical_Activity.2.aspx

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