According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the US industry loses $225.8 billion annually to employee illness. As such, small business owners who want to keep from contributing to that staggering statistic should take steps to promote employee wellness. One of the most effective ways to do that is to make exercise part of your workplace culture.
Incentivize Fitness Benchmarks
While getting regular exercise is one of the best things people can do for their physical health, many find it difficult to stick to a regular workout routine. One reason this happens is that people who are used to living inactive lifestyles don’t see an immediate payoff for all their hard work. As an employer, you can help your employees stick to their exercise regimens by incentivizing their fitness benchmarks. It can be as simple as giving a gift card to an employee who’s cut some minutes off their mile. These incentives can be very helpful in cultivating healthier lifestyle habits.
Turn Workouts into Team-Building Exercises
Another good way for small business owners to make exercise part of their company culture is to turn regular workouts into team building exercises. Simply invite a few members of your staff to a pre-work run around your office’s neighborhood or a walk after lunch. In addition to getting your team energized in the morning and after a meal, these runs also have the effect of boosting morale. You’ll be surprised how much easier it is to foster positive social interactions and bonding outside the standard work environment.
Practice Some LunchTime Yoga
Relieving back pain, lowering blood pressure, decreasing heart disease risk factors and improving memory are just a few of the health benefits that come from regularly practicing yoga. As such, one way to cultivate an exercise-focused workplace culture is to have a Yogini lead your team through a few poses before lunch break. In addition to breaking up the otherwise sedentary work day with some exercise, lunchtime yoga can leave your team feeling mentally refreshed. Over time, your team will come to associate the very idea of coming to work with positivity and revitalization.
Create an On-Site Workout Room
If you’re finding it difficult to get your employees to hit the gym, bring the gym to work. By turning unused space within your office into a workout room, you can literally bring the idea of exercise into the workplace. To be clear, this doesn’t mean installing a professional workout facility within your office. It can be as simple as giving your team a space where they can lift weights, jump rope, stretch or do other exercises in peace. The very existence of an on-site workout room can subliminally entice your team into being more active during the workday.
Finding ways to keep your employees active can boost their happiness and loyalty at work. Incorporating physical activity in your workplace culture is an investment that will pay off in reduced healthcare costs and increased worker productivity.
Canopy Health is a community of caregivers creating an integrated healthcare experience where quality care and coverage are provided by an alliance of top caregivers throughout the Bay Area. They offer refreshingly clear, human care that is achieved by making each unique member’s journey predictable, transparent, and cost-effective.
For more tips and inspiration for small business owners, visit CBS Small Business Pulse San Francisco.