Being Active

Reduce Sedentary Behaviour at Work

A previous post addressed the need to encourage employees to be more active (see: Encourage Employees to Increase Their Physical Activity at Work) but the movement to address sedentary lifestyles is gaining traction.  Here is an interesting blog post on Cubicle Culture.  And a neighbouring health unit has adapted a tool kit for workplaces that [...]

Encourage Employees to Increase Their Physical Activity At Work

Many jobs today involve sitting for long periods of time.  Current research and news items have been drawing attention to the negative impact of sedentary behaviour on our health.  Get creative about incorporating physical activity during the work day.  Here are a few ideas: Have a physical activity flash mob at meetings.  Between agenda items someone [...]

Design Your Workspaces to Encourage Activity

In today’s brain-based economy, many employees are spending large parts of their day sitting in front of computers, in meetings or in their cars.  Recent news headlines are proclaiming that these prolonged periods of sitting are dangerous to our health—even if we do walk to work or visit a gym routinely.  There’s a movement afoot [...]

Being Active: Helpful Resources

LOCAL RESOURCES Peterborough Parks Department  -  (705) 745-1386 Peterborough Recreation Department  -  (705) 742-7777 WEB-BASED RESOURCES Shifting Gears                                                          Public Health Agency of Canada: Physical Activity Guide                                    Active Ontario                                                                                                      Alberta Centre for Active Living            Active Living Alliance for Canadians with a Disability                                          Canadian Council for Health & Active Living at Work                                                       [...]

Active Living Bingo

Recent messaging around being physically active has focused on getting 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity in a week.  Holding a month-long active living bingo at work will encourage your employees to get moving.  Here is a sample Bingo Card to get you started. Source:  Peterborough County-City Health Unit

Support Employees to be Active Winter Commuters

Once the snow flies and ice builds up on sidewalks, employees who walk to work or during their breaks may decide to drive to work and stay indoors.  Encourage employees to remain active commuters throughout the winter months.  Share these tips from Peterborough Green Up:  What can the workplace do?  Some workplaces have implemented [...]

Limit Sleeping and Sitting to 23 1/2 Hours a Day

If you want to kick start your employees in getting active, consider taking 10 minutes to show them this great YouTube video by Dr. Mike Evans.  Dr. Evans, a physician based in Toronto, makes the case for moving just 30 minutes a day.  Check the video out here: Source:  Peterborough County-City Health Unit

“Health Options at Work”: A Physical Activity Guide

Toronto Public Health has created a guide to provide workplaces with information needed to plan, promote and implement a multi-strategy approach to physical activity programming in the workplace.  Here is the link to the guide: Source: Peterborough County-City Health Unit  

Making a Business Case for Active Living at Work

Active employees are healthy employees both physically and mentally.  And healthy employees means improved morale, higher productivity, lower absenteeism, and lower operating costs.  If you are considering introducing a physical activity program and you need to make a business case, you might find this resource from Health Canada very helpful.   This on-line resource entitled Business Case for Active [...]

Exercises for Employees Who Stand

For some employees such as teachers, cashiers, hair stylists, cooks, assembly line workers, servers and bartenders, standing is a big part of their work day.  In order to reduce injuries, consider sharing this handout, Exercises for Employees Who Stand which was created by Jasmine Isaac, Kinesiologist with Wellness Works Professionals in Peterborough. Source:  Wellness Works Professionals, Peterborough

Encourage Employees to Walk While They Work

Recent research shows that sitting for long periods of time is bad for our health.  If you organization is a “sitting” workplace–sitting at computers and sitting in meetings–encourage employees to move while they work.  Promote walking meetings, standing up while using the phone, and walking over to speak with co-workers rather than phoning or e-mailing. These are small changes but every [...]

Shifting Gears Challenge

Every May, workplaces in the Peterborough area are encouraged to participate in the Shifting Gears Challenge.   This year, the challenge has expanded to be a community challenge and there is still a workplace component.  The idea is to get as many employees signed up as possible and for the month of May, they walk, cycle, [...]

Eat Well, Be Active (Kit)

Health Canada has produced two great resources that walk you through healthy eating  and physical activity information.  There are step by step instructions on how you can facilitate this in different settings.  See the two guides below for more information: Activity Plan #1 (Children and Adults):  Benefits of Eating Well and Being Physically Active Activity [...]

His & Hers Health Fair

Organize a Health Fair at your workplace. Invite organizations to provide a display or handouts that introduce employees to the issues related to healthy eating, staying active, and maintaining vitality throughout life. Approach different organizations for resources.  Organizations could include your local Health Unit, Heart and Stroke Foundation, Canadian Mental Health Association, Canadian Diabetes Association, or the [...]

Fitness Clean Up (Kit)

Walking, jogging, and club sports aren’t for everyone.  For individuals who prefer to take a more creative path towards physical fitness, there are many activities that combine exercise with other tasks.  The Fitness Clean-Up challenges employees to work together to collect litter from local green space.  In doing so, participants will be surprised to learn [...]

Scrabble Walk (Kit)

Employers and health promoters who devise ways to make exercise both fun and convenient for employees attain the best results when it comes to improving employees’ physical fitness.  The Scrabble Walk is a simple, 20-minute activity that pairs exercise with a familiar family game.  Participants may enjoy the walk so much that they decide to [...]

Spring Bike Tune-Up (Kit)

Just like automobiles, bicycles require regular maintenance.  And, like drivers, cyclists’ safety depends upon their vehicles’ proper functioning.  The Bike Tune-Up provides employees with hands-on help in making necessary and practical bike repairs in a convenient, comfortable environment.  Although coordinators should feel free to host the event in any season, springtime may be especially appropriate, [...]

Stair Trek Challenge (Kit)

Today’s employers should strive to encourage employees to take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator whenever possible: at work, at home, and in public places.  Over a period of one month, the Stair Trek Challenge promotes this simple, convenient exercise that employees can do in the comfort of the workplace. In this activity’s [...]

Walk a Mall in My Shoes (Kit)

Employers and health promoters who devise ways to make exercise both fun and convenient for employees attain the best results when it comes to improving employees’ physical fitness.  Walk a Mall in My Shoes is an easy, enjoyable activity for entry-level participants who are not accustomed to walking for fitness.  Your local shopping mall serves [...]

Hit the Showers

As best as resources and space allow, consider installing showers in the workplace for employees who engage in physical activity before, during, or after the workday.  Employees who wish to break a sweat during work hours will appreciate the support.   Source:  County of Lambton Community Health Services Department

Make it Easier for Employees to Join a Fitness Club

Once again, employees who have expanded access to fitness opportunities and supports are more likely to engage in physical activity.  To this end, look into negotiating a reduced membership rate for employees at a local gym or fitness club.  Or, once employees provide proof that he or she has become a member, consider awarding them [...]

Provide Supports for Active Commuters

Having a designated space to park one’s bicycle goes a long way in encouraging employees to leave the car in the garage and cycle to work.  Consider installing bicycle racks adjacent to traditional parking spaces for employees who are active commuters.  Also, for those employees who walk to work, provide adequate locker and changing facilities [...]

Provide Incentives and Awards for Physical Activity

If you notice employees engaging in physical activity, consider awarding them with small fitness-related gifts and incentives that encourage them to keep up the good work.  Gift ideas for incentives might include water bottles, prepackaged healthy snacks, reflective arm bands, pedometers, and safety lights.  Fitness-savvy employees might also have the opportunity to enter a raffle [...]

Place a Spotlight on Fitness

Create awards or incentives that recognize employees who regularly engage in physical activity.  Consider similar accolades for employees who have just recently begun an exercise program or for those who have reached an important fitness goal. Source:  Brant County Health Unit

Help Employees Count Their Steps

Lend pedometers to employees who have pledged to walk a certain distance each day in order to improve their physical and mental wellness.  The pedometer will allow employees to count how many steps they’ve taken in a given day–and how many they have left to go!   Source:  Brant County Health Unit

Flexible Scheduling that Encourages Exercise

Develop flexible scheduling policies that allow employees to dedicate a few moments throughout the day to physical activity.  The adjusted work day and flex-time policies allow employees to work the standard number of hours on a daily basis, with flexible start and finish times within limits established by management.  More flexibility means that employees have [...]

A League of Their Own

Encourage physical activity and athletics among employees by helping to establish workplace sports leagues or walking clubs.  As the employer, you are in a position to take the lead.  Reserve outdoor recreational areas, create rosters, and provide sports equipment.  Just make sure to offer a variety of options for employees of different ages and abilities. [...]

Active Workplace Teams

Form workplace teams or hold family events to support increased levels of physical activity as well as the development of healthy relationships between employees and between family members. Try bowling, golf or softball. Also, consider forming groups for activities like cycling, Tai Chi, regular daily stretching or aerobics. Encourage walking groups, dancing groups or recreational [...]

Provide Staff with Outdoor Recreation Space

Encourage employees to use this space for physical activity before, during, or after work.  Given the size and suitability of the area, you may also want to provide sports equipment, such as soccer balls, volleyball nets, etc; or, encourage employees to bring these supplies from home. Source:  Brant County Health Unit

Incorporate Physical Activity into Recreational Events

Next time you plan a recreational event for employees, make exercise a key component of the day’s activities.  Invite employees to take a hike in the woods, enjoy an afternoon of skiing, go golfing, or participate in a walking fundraiser for charity.  Employees receive a double benefit.  They engage in physical activity while enjoying a [...]

Create an Attractive Placemat for Your Cafeteria Trays

Employees might welcome this creative alternative to the monthly wellness newsletter.  A recyclable placemat could provide a helpful advertising tool for a variety of health topics such as healthy eating strategies, nutritious recipes, and workplace wellness events.   Source:  Peterborough County-City Health Unit

Start a Walking Club

Organize a group of employees to meet at a predetermined time and location everyday (before or after work, over lunch or during breaks) and go for a walk.  Map out 15 and 30 minute routes so staff can complete the route during their breaks.   If feasible, provide lockers and showers on site to encourage employees to be active. Supply [...]

Advise Employees on Pedestrian Safety

Whether walking to work or walking during a break, employees need to be safe.  Provide employees with information about safe walking practices and encourage them to be proactive in their safety by wearing reflective arm bands, walking on the left side of the road, and obeying traffic signals.  To encourage walking in the winter months, consider subsidizing [...]

Spring Training

Sometimes what holds people back from trying a new sport or activity is the cost and commitment when you don’t know if you will even like it.  Host a free introductory session at work where employees can try something new.  See if there are any employees who have training in an activity (e.g., T’ai Chi, pilates, [...]

Sports Injuries 101

Employees interested in athletics might benefit from more information on common injuries related to their favourite sports.  Host a seminar or training workshop on common sports injuries, strategies for injury prevention, and sports first aid. Source: WW Physical Activity Ideas

Feature Interactive Displays or Bulletin Boards in High-Traffic Areas

Colorful and attractive displays on nutrition and heathy eating easily draw the attention of employees.  Create posters or bulletin boards that advertise healthier  meal choices, healthy tips for food preparation, and favourite healthy recipes.  The same strategy can be used for many other topics including being active, being smoke free, responsible drinking, reducing stress, shiftwork, [...]

Encourage Employees to Exercise—Even When Sitting at Their Desks

Host a seminar on “Deskercise,” a series of stretching exercises that employees can call upon while working to reduce the strain caused by sitting and typing for extended periods of time.  Some examples include neck rolls, shoulder shrugs, stomach squeezes, hip twisters, wrist curls and yawning.  Challenge employees to keep a log of how many [...]

Establish a Workplace Walking Route

As a strategy to encourage employees to take walking breaks, map a 10-minute walking route that explores the streets and landmarks around your workplace.  Advertise the route to interested employees using posters and maps.  As a fitness and promotional activity, host team walking challenges along the route. Source: County of Lambton, Community Health Services Department

Run or Walk for Charity

Represent your workplace by participating in various fundraisers for charities and local community events (eg. Heart and Stroke, Cancer Society, AIDS Walk for Life). This is a great way to be physically active and support a good cause. Source: Brant County Health Unit