Implementing a workplace fitness program at the office can help your company's bottom line. A study by The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, with results published in a 2008 issue of the "Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine," found that employees who engaged in workplace wellness programs saved $176 to $182 on health care costs yearly. By presenting management with the benefits of a fitness program, you can get support for a program at your own workplace for healthier, happier employees who cost the company less in health costs.
Schedule an appointment with your management team to talk about the possibility of implementing a workplace fitness program. Come armed with information on what type of fitness program you'd like to use, whether it's a weight loss competition, themed fitness days or fitness classes offered at work. Talk about the cost of a fitness program versus the benefits, such as reduced health care costs and improved productivity. Once you have the approval from your managers, you can begin your planning.
Meet with your employees to define your fitness goals and your program plan. You may want to ask employees about the things they struggle with in regard to fitness. Some answers you may hear are time constraints, morale at work, money and fitness levels. You then create the program that will work best for the collective goals of those who will be taking advantage of your fitness program.
Offer incentives to entice your employees to participate. Whether it's a prize for the most weight loss, days where participating employees can come late to work, or sponsored events with free food and fitness, make the workplace fitness program an exciting and desirable way to spend time at work. Without incentives, you may find that employees have little interest.
Participate in fitness activities, contests and programs as well. Show support for the program by making allowances for those who are participating. For instance, you may decide to give time off to attend weight management meetings together, suggests the "St. Louis Business Journal." Show that as the program organizer, you believe in the fitness program and participate yourself to keep participation and morale high.
Organize office-wide fitness days to include those who don't participate formally in the program. Natural Healthcare Canada suggests having a "Walk to Work Day," or having a group lunch outside in order to get everyone moving. A health fair or having a fitness meeting can also help to include everyone in your office.
- "Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine": The Impact of the Highmark Employee Wellness Programs on 4-Year Healthcare Costs; Naydeck, Barbara L. MPH; Pearson, Janine A. PhD; Ozminkowski, Ronald J. PhD; Day, Brian T. EdD; Goetzel, Ron Z. PhD; Feb. 2008
- "St. Louis Business Journal": Fitness in the Workplace Boosts Productivity, Morale
- Natural Healthcare Canada: Workplace Wellness: Fitness Program