Participants in physical activity programs report:
- Improved mental concentration, stamina, reaction time and memory;
- Being more alert;
- Experiencing a better rapport with co-workers;
- Enjoying work more than non-participants;
- Greater satisfaction;
- Improved performance.
Workplace physical activity initiatives are a good investment as employees’ health is directly related to the costs of sick leave and absenteeism.
What can a workplace do to promote physical activity?
There are many ways in which organisations can promote physical activity, some of which are very easy and inexpensive to implement. These include:
- Displaying motivational or informative posters, signage or brochures about the benefits of physical activity and some tips on getting active;
- Promoting and encouraging employees to use the stairs. Use the ‘footprint’ stickers to guide people toward the stairs rather than walking straight to the lift;
- Promote ‘walking meetings’, lunch-time walks and 5-10 minute walk breaks during the day (you’ll return a lot more alert!)
- Providing bicycle racks or alternative secure bicycle storage to encourage people to cycle to work;
- Providing information on local opportunities for physical activity;
- Publicising physical activity opportunities through email, company intranet or websites, links to the be active website, noticeboards and newsletters;
- Purchasing corporate memberships of local fitness centres. Some local fitness centres offer attractive corporate packages which allow employees reduced membership rates;
- Providing on-site facilities such as gyms (this may be an option for large employers);
- Providing showers, change room facilities and lockers for those who wish to cycle, walk or jog to work or participate in more vigorous activities in and around the working day;
- Supporting sports and physical activity clubs such as social football and netball teams, and walking and jogging groups; and
- Encouraging employees to form corporate teams for events such as Corporate Cup and the Masters Games.
Be active at your workplace by finding time to get up and moving!