The sedentary lifestyle is taking its toll on American workers’ health, with studies linking long hours of daily sitting to health issues like obesity, heart disease, and deep vein thrombosis. As reported in Forbes, Americans are sitting down for more than ever in history. If you wish to embrace more activity at work and ensure your staff does not fall prey to the effects of sedentarism and excess stress, employ the following strategies.
An Office Layout that Embraces Movement
“Movement is life,” or so the saying goes. To encourage staff to move from one part of the office to the other, strategic office design is key. If you have various departments at work, mix them up so that staff has to walk across the office to reach the colleagues they work with the most. Discourage the use of internal phones for anything but emergency dealings with clients. Place desks as far as possible from common relaxation areas such as outdoor gardens and the office kitchen/common room.
Investing in Standing Desks
Standing desks encourage movement by enabling office workers to alternate between sitting and standing. Companies seeking to seriously encourage the use of this furniture item should invest in desks with an easily adjustable height. Some desks have useful features like electric systems with sliding tops, fold-down cable trays, and anti-collision mechanisms. Even if you have a small budget, investing in a simple standing desk design will help your employees lower their risk of heart disease, make them burn more calories, and improve back pain.
Ensure Annual Medical Checkups
Healthy employees are productive employees. Make sure they have regular annual medical checkups. An important factor in improving the health and fitness of your employees is promoting regular blood testing. Find a place to get blood work near you and encourage your workers to get their blood analyzed at least once a year. Perhaps offering a reward, such as a gift card, when they do, will help encourage them to get check-ups.
Embracing Fitness Initiatives at Work
There are many ways that companies can create a more active workplace culture. These include offering employees free fitness classes at work. There is a myriad of activities that staff can undertake with little to no equipment. These include brisk walking around green areas, CrossFit-style classes, and floor Pilates or yoga. Employees can also be given gym memberships/discounts or time off to work out. In savvy offices, fitness for staff is being gamified, with staff using dedicated apps to collect points and rewards for their fitness efforts. These rewards range from economic incentives to time off, free meals, and other prizes workers enjoy competing for.
Building an Office Gym
Having a gym at the office is the ultimate perk for workers who want nothing more than to work off excess stress at their own office. If you are thinking of making an investment, set aside somewhere between $10,000 for a small studio to $50,000 for a fully-equipped, cutting-edge gym. Consider this to be an investment not only in staff retention, but also in attracting new talent to your company.
An active workforce is a happy and productive one. Personnel that work out and move throughout the day are less likely to develop problems like obesity and stress. They are also more likely to feel motivated at work and to feel like they are part of a culture that values individuals’ health and wellbeing as much as it does their productivity.
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