It’s easy to let physical fitness slip down the priority list at work. Back to back meetings and pressing deadlines leave little time for being active during the work day. But there are compelling reasons to encourage fitness in the workplace. Employee wellbeing has proven links to productivity, reduced absenteeism, and overall satisfaction at work.

Employee fitness is the responsibility of both employer and individual. But as an employer, it falls on you encourage engagement and promote the opportunities on offer.

In this article, we look at how to encourage fitness in the workplace with the best strategies to get your people moving more often.

Are you an employer? Hussle now offer flexible, discounted access to our fitness venues as an employee benefit. Learn more.

5 measurable benefits of promoting fitness in the workplace

  1. Healthier employees
  2. Regular exercise and increased activity have been shown to reduce the risk of chronic health issues including Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke (these are health risks which may be elevated in those who have sedentary jobs).

  3. Better stress management
  4. Exercise has a positive effect on mental and emotional wellbeing, including helping manage stress, anxiety, and feeling overwhelmed.

  5. Improved sleep and relaxation
  6. People who exercise regularly typically report better sleep, which has a positive impact on stress management, mood, short term health and longer term health outcomes.

  7. Increase in energy levels
  8. It might sound counterintuitive, but regular exercise increases energy levels and cognitive function, so employees are likely to feel more alert during the day (with or without that morning coffee!)

  9. A positive company culture
  10. When fitness is a core part of your organisational outlook, your company culture is likely to become one of positivity, energy, and supportive motivation.

    How to encourage increased fitness and activity in the workplace

    Encourage workplace wellness with Fitness & Wellbeing Advocates

    Fitness advocates – influential figures who champion fitness and wellbeing, can significantly increase employee engagement in fitness both at work and in personal time. Select fitness advocates from throughout your organisation, and support them in sharing their own fitness stories, providing tips and encouragement to participate, and promoting in-house initiatives.

    Successful workplace initiatives for promoting fitness at work

    What kind of workplace initiatives would be suitable for your workplace and workforce? Ideas include fitness-as-a-benefit (such as discounted gym membership), walking meetings, or flexible working schedules to encourage activity during daylight hours.

    How flexible working can build a culture of fitness and wellbeing

    Flexible hours or remote work options can really help employees build more fitness into their daily routines. Help people look after their health without compromising their professional responsibilities by offering a flexible fitness benefit, such as flexible gym membership that suits every individual and their varied working patterns.

    Using internal sessions and seminars to increase workplace wellness

    Work with external partners to deliver educational sessions or team building activities focused on fitness and wellbeing. Topics could include nutrition, stress management, or exercise techniques for common musculoskeletal issues.

    Best-practice around the internal marketing of workplace fitness benefits

    Make sure all your employees are aware of the fitness benefits available to them. Use internal communications channels for promoting fitness in the workplace, including your corporate benefits, gym access, wellness programmes, and health incentives. Ensure every employee knows who your fitness champions are.

    Practical ways to promote fitness in the workplace

    Implement ergonomic workstations, or even standing desks, to reduce sedentary behaviour and promote better posture. Extend this to employees who work from home on a permanent or ad-hoc basis.

    Organise fitness challenges or competitions to increase engagement and motivation, and communicate the results to those who didn’t take part.

    Incentivise activity by offering rewards for achieving fitness goals. Make sure this encompasses all levels of fitness and ability.

    Provide healthy snacks and drinks in meetings, office kitchens, and any in-house food and beverage outlets to encourage nutritious eating habits. Support this with education around the best nutrition choices to support with workplace wellness.

    Create designated areas for physical activity, such as walking routes, outdoor workout spaces, or quiet areas to stretch.

    Make sure your policies around fitness and wellness are accessible – and promote them at all stages of the employee journey, from recruitment and training to mentoring and promotions.

    Promoting fitness in the workplace for a healthy working culture

    Whilst employees have a personal responsibility towards their personal health, employers play a key role in making this a reality. Many people have very little time outside of work to be active, go to the gym, or even hit their daily step target.

    By promoting your fitness policies, corporate benefits, and internal activities, you can make it much easier for employees to engage in healthy choices in the workplace. And that will have a positive impact, not only on productivity and absenteeism, but on the perception of your workplace as a great place to be.