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6 Ways to encourage physical wellness at work

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and improving physical health is one way to enhance mental health. While the link between mental and physical health and the benefits of a healthy lifestyle is well established, it can be challenging for people to incorporate active lifestyles into their everyday routines.

This is when team leaders, managers, and other company decision-makers enter the picture. Employees around the world could benefit from improved access to physical health and wellness activities and perks as a result of their assistance and initiative.

The advantages of promoting physical health at work

Increased productivity is one of the numerous advantages of good employee health. Physical activity has been linked to improved cognitive processing in studies, making it an important factor in productivity and performance. Physical health is associated with enhanced concentration, increased mental stamina, decreased stress, improved learning and memory, and improved levels of focus and creativity.

Another advantage of physical fitness in the workplace is that employees who live healthy lifestyles and exercise regularly take fewer sick days because they are less likely to get sick or injured than those who do not.

Employees who are more active build up stronger immune systems, whereas those who are less fit are significantly more prone to becoming ill from the common cold or other diseases that spread swiftly throughout the office.

A long-term commitment to exercise can also prevent long-term absenteeism by lowering the likelihood of workers experiencing non-acute muscle and ligament-related pain inside or outside of the workplace. Thus, having physically fit personnel lowers a company’s overall sick leave and associated expenditures linked to decreased output.

A third advantage of physical activity is that it has been shown to improve mood, which leads to higher employee contentment, self-confidence, and much-needed energy boosts. In reality, exercise can help reduce or eliminate unpleasant feelings such as stress, burnout, and tension. Employees can enhance blood flow, clear their minds, let off steam, and have fun when given a short breaks during the day to exercise. All of these can lead to a more productive working atmosphere.

How to promote workplace fitness

Creating opportunities for your team members to exercise as a team leader, manager, or other decision maker not only makes it easier for them to partake in some type of physical activity, but it also tells them you care about their well-being. This, in turn, will contribute to the development of a caring and nurturing culture, making your team and business more desirable places to work.

Although there are numerous ways to encourage your team members to participate in physical fitness activities, here are a few suggestions.

Encourage healthy behaviors in the workplace

Try fostering a more fitness-conscious culture in your company. You can accomplish this by uploading and syndicating information about sporting events and activities. Providing health checks to employees and having healthy snacks and fruit available for consumption might also be beneficial. Of course, if your office is virtual, you can distribute these posts and information digitally through Slack or other communication channels.

Have on-site facilities that promote healthier living

This could include having a dedicated training facility or gym on-site for employees to use. However, a fully equipped gym is not required. Even a place where people may stretch, perform yoga, and meditate can be beneficial. Other items that can help are on-site showers and bike parking spaces to encourage employees to pedal to and from work.

Subsidize the gym memberships of your team

Giving staff memberships to neighboring gyms, yoga studios, and other fitness facilities can be a wonderful workaround if you don’t have the space or funds to construct an on-site workout facility. This can also improve team chemistry because employees are more likely to workout together.

Encourage and subsidize the adoption of digital technology

Using technology to encourage exercise can be a very effective approach to get people moving. There are now hundreds of ways to provide fitness through digital means, ranging from wearable technology to apps. You can have access to exercises, nutrition monitoring, sleep tracking, and much more in an instant. There is also advanced interactive training equipment that can track data for numerous users, such as the Hydrow rower and Peloton bike. There are numerous ways to go digital, regardless of your budget.

Create enjoyable rewards and difficulties

Who doesn’t enjoy being rewarded for their efforts? Challenging your staff fosters healthy competition and motivates them to achieve their fitness objectives. For example, at the end of each month, you could award a gift to the individual with the highest step count, or a day off for the most workouts logged.

Set a good example

It’s one thing to tell someone to do something; it’s another to demonstrate it. If you want a healthy lifestyle culture to spread throughout a firm, it’s much more likely to succeed if management promotes physical activities. This could include discussing your personal physical fitness routines, aspirations, and obstacles. It could also mean making an effort to participate in team challenges.

A final word

Of course, you aren’t limited to the suggestions above. Get creative and incorporate exercise into your job in a way that reflects your team’s and company’s beliefs and values. The most important things are to make sure your team is aware of the potential opportunities and to urge your team to act.