Winter Fitness: Incorporating Corporate Wellness into your workplace
Winter is a tough time to get in shape and stay there. Although many people set wellness-related New Year’s resolutions, it can be challenging to exercise and eat right in the dead of winter. Cold weather and short days make it hard to get outside and get moving, and the low temps make us want to curl up with a cup of hot cocoa instead of a crisp, cold salad. Corporate wellness programs can be a great way to stay motivated during this tough time of year. People who work spend more time at their jobs than anywhere else. If employers offer a corporate wellness program, employees can utilize it as a resource to improve their health. There are several ways to make corporate health and wellness a key part of your business culture during the winter months and beyond.
A little healthy competition can be a great motivator for improved health and wellness habits. Many people respond well to the incentive and accountability of a competition. Voluntary competitions allow people who are interested to participate without pressuring people who are not interested. Competitions can include weight-loss competitions, like a workplace “Biggest Loser” contest, or wellness challenges related to developing healthy habits. For example, competitions could be fitness-related, such as who can log the most steps on a pedometer or miles on the treadmill, or wellness-related, such as drinking 8 cups of water a day or sleeping 7 hours a night. Offer a fun prize to the winner for a little extra incentive!
If possible, schedule meetings for small groups as a walk outside. This plan is weather dependent, unless your workplace has a lot of hallways for walking. Most people will appreciate the opportunity to stretch their legs and get away from the computer for a little while.
Midday Breaks: Everyone takes a break for lunch; why not take a break to meditate or exercise? Make scheduled wellness breaks part of your workday to refresh the brain and the body. If space permits, offer on-site fitness classes or guided meditation. But if not, even scheduling time for people to take a walk around the block can have great benefits.
ON-SITE HEALTH AND WELLNESS EDUCATION
Many people want to learn more about health and wellness but do not have the time outside of work to educate themselves. Consider bringing in instructors to teach your employees healthy habits and ways to improve their health. These classes can range from healthy cooking techniques to stress management to disease prevention.
Flexible Scheduling or Telecommuting: While not an option at all workplaces, where possible, flexible scheduling or telecommuting can help employees to manage their own health and wellness. Whether these options give them the time to exercise and attend doctor’s appointments, or whether they just help avoid the stress of rush hour, flexible scheduling can be a boon to employees and employers alike.
Implementing a corporate wellness program can improve employee wellness and benefit your business. Corporate wellness programs attract good employees and retain them for longer periods of time. Healthy, happy employees tend to be more productive, with lower absentee rates and lower health care costs. Several studies have shown that every dollar invested in employee wellness saves the company from three to five dollars in healthcare costs--clearly, corporate wellness programs are a worthwhile investment. If you are thinking about developing a corporate wellness program, consider the Fitness Loft as your corporate wellness provider. We have years of experience with more than 25 local businesses and would love to help you.