May 5, 2017
By: Chelsea Haley, DKI Ventures, LLC
May is Global Employee Health and Fitness Month (GEHFM). While having a reminder 31 days out of the year is better than just a single day, it is only a start to promoting a healthier lifestyle. But, if you are a business owner reading this, recognizing and encouraging GEHFM among your workforce will benefit the overall performance of your company.
It is recommended for adults to be physically active at least 30 minutes each day, but studies have shown that sometimes this just does not cut it when an employee dedicates the majority of their day to sitting – commuting to and from work, then working at a computer desk eight or more hours each day. Sitting for too long can have negative impacts on your physical and mental health. But, sometimes it is difficult to remember to move around when you’re stuck on a deadline.
Luckily, there are simple approaches to add activity to your work routine, without interrupting your work performance. In fact, by applying these, you will actually be more productive, happier and engaged at work. And, as we know, it takes individuals to form a functional team; without engagement from one, the team does not perform to their highest capacity, and overall productivity declines. So, see, business owners – Consider making health and fitness a priority in your entire workplace!
Here are some ideas to do so:
If you’re stuck on a deadline, and just “cannot leave your desk: Do some quick stretches. Push your chair back and lift and stretch your legs, stretch your arms, roll your head. Then, get up and jog in place or do knee kicks for 60 seconds.
If you’re stuck in meetings all day: Swap out the conference room pizza for some healthy sandwiches or salads. Take a five-minute break in the middle of your meeting to encourage everyone to stand up and do some yoga stretches or march in place.
On your lunch break: Grab a bite to eat, then take a walk around the office building. Bonus points, if you schedule a lunch break for all employees and walk to and from a lunch spot together.
While your computer reboots: Take advantage of that downtime, even for just one to two minutes, and take a walk around the office, or do some exercises right at your desk.
On your day(s) off: Some employers or business parks offer discounts for fitness classes, gym memberships, community activities, theme parks, etc. Check out if your business or facility offers anything that can help promote health and fitness near you that you may enjoy.
Remember, you may start promoting workplace health and fitness this month, but encourage your teams to apply this to their daily lifestyle at home and at work.