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HR & Wellness Professionals Employees Account for Health - Home Page
Tools for Being Active at Work

Make the Healthy Choice, the Easy Choice

As a planner and organizer in your company, you can encourage employees to make healthy, active lifestyle choices.

  1. Make a statement
  2. Subsidize training courses, fitness programs or gym memberships
  3. Organize corporate challenge days
  4. Look for design improvements
  1. Make a statement

    1. Make the Healthy Choice, the Easy ChoiceInclude a physical activity statement in the appropriate corporate policies. This could include flexible work hours as outlined above, a more relaxed dress code, or other policy initiatives based on your specific workforce.

    2. Develop a flexible-hours policy. Flexible-hours could give your employees time to shower and change clothes after riding their bike to work, or exercising at an on-site workout room, or provides time over lunch for a walk, a run or a visit to the gym.

    3. Promote physical fitness to all members of your workforce. This could include introducing walking meetings, having stretch breaks during the work day or having pop-up screens on the organizational intranet with facts and stats on the benefits of physical activity.

    4. Consider how organizational decisions or structural changes may affect your employees' opportunities to be physically active and change your programs accordingly.

    5. Hire a student to coordinate your workplace's Physical Activity Programs.

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  2. Subsidize training courses, fitness programs or gym memberships

    Make the Healthy Choice, the Easy ChoiceMake the financial commitment to help your employees improve and maintain their health. Talk to your local fitness centre or municipal parks and recreation department about corporate fitness discounts for gyms, rinks, fields or basketball courts. Work with private fitness companies or coaches to organize on-site yoga, tai-chi, aerobics, or sport development classes at discounted rates.

    Some workplaces have a subsidized emergency transportation program for employees who choose to bike to work.

    Find out what activities employees are involved in outside of work. Consider sponsoring a corporate team for a charity run/walk/skate or bike event. Have more active employees encourage less active ones to join a group.

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  3. Organize corporate challenge days

    1. Give your employees the opportunity to choose the events.

    2. Create challenges between departments, or make it management vs. non-management. Competition will add an interesting element to the day and can motivate even the most sedentary of employees.

    3. With small successes consider building your program to challenge industry competitors or vendors to an activity challenge.

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  4. Organize corporate challenge daysLook for design improvements

    When you provide onsite showers in your workplace, it's one less excuse for not being active at work! Believe it or not, showers are one of the most effective and significant ways you can support your employees to be more active.

    Work with your facilities staff to list the options for safe, secure and convenient storage for clothes and equipment. Lockers, bike racks or sports bag storage areas could be created from unused or inefficiently used space in your building.

    Design the external environment to promote outdoor physical activity. It may be as simple as a landscape upgrade or creating pathways that weave around the building.  Incorporate rest and stretching spots along the way. Work with your health and safety committee to ensure the path is well marked and addressing any potential hazards along the route.

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Tools for Being Active at Work

Revised: July 31, 2014

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