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How to Encourage Fitness in Your Company

Sitting is the silent killer.  

Many companies, especially those whose employees sit at desks for eight hours a day, wish to encourage physical fitness in their employees. The problem is that they don���t know where to start or how to implement new ideas without overstepping their bounds.  

Companies cannot force fitness programs on their employees or risk any adverse health conditions from over-exertion. Employees must take part in fitness programs of their own volition.  

Even still, sedentary lifestyles can have long-term health effects on everyone. Helping to educate your employees on the health risk of sitting all day and providing physical solutions to these problems can go a long way towards improving employee health.  

This article will go over some actions your company can take to improve employee health.

Health Actions Your Company Can Take 

So, you've committed to acting when it comes to your employees physical health.  

You cant force your workers to exercise, nor can you expect that everyone will want to. Here are some steps you can take to make physical fitness easier for each employee.  

  • Announce your fitness program and build enthusiasm. 
  • Make clear to your employees that your company is assisting them in getting fit. Get your employees excited about the new program and get as many on board as possible. Accept volunteers and coordinate different elective health events. Try to make your program self-sustaining by using employees to run events that they have an interest in.  

  • Give employees pedometers. 
  • Humans tend to overestimate our physical activity while underestimating the amount we eat. Counting steps is a great way to achieve physical fitness. The average US office worker takes less than 1,000 steps per day (the ideal number is between 8,000 and 10,000). If employees are aware of how few steps they take, they will be more likely to increase their daily steps.  

  • Stock vending machines with healthy snack options. 
  • The most important thing is that you remove junk food from the workplace. The combination of junk food and sitting down is a recipe for weight gain. Instead, stock your vending machines with fruit, organic snacks, and healthy drinks. There will likely be some protest to this change, but in the long run, employees will come to accept this change.  

  • Build a water station. 
  • Hydration is key to fitness. Many people do not exercise simply because they are tired from chronic dehydration. Give your employees access to clean, tasty water and they will drink more. Not only does hydration key the body running smoothly, but it can also help with ideation, making for a more creative workforce.  

  • Provide standing desks to those who request one. 
  • Sitting is terrible for your health. Standing desks offer a clever solution that keeps productivity up and increases the number of calories burned per hour. Standing desks may be uncomfortable for a week or two, but the body will soon adjust. Substituting standing with sitting will help increase leg muscle, making exercise easier.  

  • Hold walking meetings. 
  • This option may seem strange for some offices but walking meetings on cool summer days can go a long way towards burning excess calories. A new environment, fresh air, and moderate exercise are great ways to induce a livelier atmosphere. Not only that but walking has been linked to improved ideation and creativity. Not every meeting can be a walking meeting, but the more you can walk and talk, the better your ideas will be. 

A Healthier Workplace for a Healthier Employee 

Workplaces can only do so much to encourage employee fitness.  

However, any small measures employers can provide can pay off huge for individual employees. Sometimes all people need is a push in the right direction and plenty of support.  

January is Fitness and Exercise month at Anthem. One of the best ways to ensure a long, healthy life is through healthy exercise habits. Anthem Insurance provides the best benefits to businesses and individuals and goes above and beyond to ensure that we help you to meet your health goals. Reach out to Anthem through SOCA for superior coverage today.  

Get your health benefits through SOCA here! 

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