Let’s get physical: How to promote physical wellbeing in the workplace

Regular physical exercise has been credited with many health benefits – including helping to prevent heart disease, stroke, hypertension and diabetes, maintain healthy body weight and boost mental health.

However, according to one estimate mentioned by the World Health Organisation, a quarter of adults around the world fail to do enough physical activity. Still, a recent survey highlighted by HRZone indicates that 41% of adults in England want to exercise more – so, how could you help your own employees to do so?

Ask your employees what they would like to do

You don’t want to run the risk of spending a lot of time and effort setting up workplace exercise schemes only to then realise that many of your employees are reluctant to make use of them. This is why you should first ask your employees what schemes like these they would appreciate.

You could run an anonymous internal survey to learn what fitness amenities they already regularly use – enabling you to figure out what gaps your company should endeavour to fill.

Launch a sponsorship challenge

This can be a group challenge where you, the employer, give each participating employee a specific exercise target for the month – like, say, walking 1,000 miles. In arranging for all of the participants to log their exercise progress, you could foster a simultaneously fun and competitive spirit.

Perhaps there could be a certain amount of money you give the charity for each mile walked. You could also offer prizes for those people who hit the target.

Offer discounted gym memberships

These could be just what many of your employees need in order to exercise at the times and places that most suit them. Maybe they have long felt attracted to a particular gym close to them, but had to rule out frequenting it simply due to high membership fees charged by that gym.

You should also take into account that, as an article on the Reward & Employee Benefits Association (REBA) website points out, many gyms now even run virtual classes.

Find ways for staff to exercise during work hours

Yes, they might often only get random snippets of time in which to physically exercise – but all of those small, erm, ‘sessions’ of exercise could soon stack up. So, you could let employees use their phones to take part in video calls while going out for the occasional stroll.

Another good idea would be to arrange staff-led walking or running clubs giving employees opportunities to exercise during their lunch break.

Provide group life insurance incentivising physical exercise 

One good reason to give group life insurance to your employees is that, if they die when the insurance is in place, their families will receive financial support. However, life insurance policies can noticeably differ in the benefits they offer.

For example, if you offer YuLife-provided group life insurance for your employees, they can earn rewards from major brands like Amazon, Avios and M&S just by completing such physical wellbeing challenges as taking a short walk from time to time.

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