Valérie Fernandez

By Valérie Fernandez

January 25, 2017


8 Tips to Encourage Your Employees to Get in Shape

Article revised on 30 October 2018

Sometimes employers need to be a little creative when encouraging their employees to be active in the workplace. But it’s worth it! We know that physically active employees are efficient the whole day and are 12% more productive than inactive employees¹.

This is no small matter given that a recent report estimates that inactivity is costing $89B (CAN) in worldwide healthcare expenses and loss of productivity².

To encourage your employees to adopt an active lifestyle, integrate this value into the culture of your organization. Here are eight new ideas to get on track.

1. Popularize taking the stairs

Encourage your team to use the stairs as often as possible. To facilitate this, ensure that stairs are accessible and inviting (clean, well-lit, decorated, etc.) Put up motivational posters promoting the stairs in strategic locations such as next to elevators.

2. Rethink the company space…

Reserve a meeting room at lunch or the end of the day to do a group training session. Better yet, set up a work-out room with various exercise machines and equipment. Don’t forget the showers! For smaller companies, there are other more affordable options such as providing free weights, resistance bands, stationary peddlers that can go under desks, etc. If it’s not possible to buy equipment, adding a shower allows your employees to exercise outdoors and clean up afterwards.

3. Surprise them with an exercise circuit

Many exercises don’t require any equipment. Using posters, challenge your team to do some exercises whenever they are in certain areas of your company: do 30 seconds of chair squats when next to the microwave oven; do 10 lunges at the vending machine; jump as high as possible five times when at the photocopier, etc.

4. Take an exercise break

Is the meeting going to be long? Recharge everyone’s energy and attention by taking a five-minute break to do some warm-up exercises and stretching at appropriate intervals.

5. Be active as a team!

Organize walking clubs; create a company sports team; issue friendly challenges to other companies; integrate an outdoor activity in your company events, etc. By being active together, you are not only promoting your employees’ good health, but also team building.

6. Promote active and public transportation

Install secure bike racks or set aside an accessible storage location inside for employees who wish to cycle to work. Promote the use of public transportation for staff who prefer to walk by reimbursing part of the monthly cost.

7. Find partnerships

Negotiate group rates for your employees at a gym, arena or other sport venue. Many do have special rates for companies. If your company is too small, partner with one or several other companies.

8. Discover VIVA!

Do you like these ideas? Get more information from your insurance broker about VIVA, a workplace health and wellness program that helps employees adopt healthy lifestyle habits.

  1. Statistics Canada…
  2. Ding, D., Lawson, K. D., Kolbe-Alexander, T. L., Finkelstein, E. A., Katzmarzyk, P. T., Mechelen, W. V., & Pratt, M. (2016). The economic burden of physical inactivity: A global analysis of major non-communicable diseases [Abstract]. The Lancet. doi:10.1016/s0140-6736(16)30383-x

Want to encourage your employees to adopt healthy lifestyle habits?

Discover the VIVA workplace health and wellness program.

Visit our website

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