Supportive Work Environment – 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 [...]

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 [...]

“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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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

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

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 [...]