Sitting is the New Smoking”, Encourage Your Employees to be Active and Fit

Sitting is the New Smoking", Encourage Your Employees to be Active and Fit

Perhaps you have also heard this: “Sitting is like the new smoking.” Regretfully, most of us would plead guilty as charged to this. Yes, according to a study, we normally sit more than eight hours a day in the office, and this is just as unhealthy as lighting up to smoke. But the good news is: You can prevent your employees from falling into this lethargic trap by providing them some tips and solutions to stay healthy. Here is why you need to encourage your staff to move.

Gym Discounts

A simple strategy of nudging your employees to workout is by partnering with a fitness center or a local gym. Just contact potential gyms through email, physical mail or phone, letting the owner or manager know you would like to refer your employees to their business, in exchange of providing them some discount on membership fees. The gym you partner with will not only increase its clients and revenue, but you are going to provide additional incentive for your employees to begin regularly exercising.

On-Site Health Facility

On-site health facility complete with workout equipment, healthy drinks and snacks would be the ultimate means of helping your employees to get active. It’s going to be a significant  investment plus a great deal of planning. The benefits you might potentially gain, which includes less sick days, increased staff loyalty, and discount on your business health insurance program may make this venture worth investing in.

Encourage Exercise Group

When your company lacks the ability to develop on-site gym for employees, you may encourage them to instead join exercise groups. For example, you may form a walking group which employees might join for a stroll during lunch time, or establish a weekend company handball team which meets at a nearby field. Such alternatives will not cost you much cash, but they’ll still encourage more of your employees to exercise, and eventually get fit.

Contests

Holding some friendly contests may motivate your employees to exercise, so long as they’re done tactfully and the prizes offer a stimulus incentive for their participation. In this regard, you should set some reasonable timeline for the contest, like four months, or 90 days, and have your employees jot down their starting weight on slips which you keep in some private area. Note that there is no need to have them publicly broadcast their weights. At the end of contest, you should have everybody re-weigh themselves, and hand in the results. You then may announce the total amount of pounds the winners lost, as opposed to their new weights.

At the end of the day, you need your employees to be healthy, and this will also mean a healthy, and profitable business. Therefore, it’s upon you to encourage healthy habits in your company by encouraging your employees to be fit and healthy.

Good Luck!

A Wellness Program Can Help Your Employees Thrive

A Wellness Program Can Help Your Employees Thrive

When I was out there in corporate America both as an employee and a manager in a retail setting, I wish we had had a wellness program for myself and my junior staff. There are many reasons for having such a program on site. These include a reduction in heart disease and stroke, a reduction in the number of sick days being used, an overall reduction of medical costs as well as overall happier and more productive employees.

Unfortunately, in the US, employers are wont to offer these types of services to their employees. In my opinion, this is because the initial costs may be somewhat prohibitive, however, I believe that the upside benefits far outweigh the financial cost. I also believe that having irritable and sick employees poses more of a financial risk than having such a program in place.

Cost of Sick Days

Another benefit is that psychologically, it gives the employees the ability to decompress, socialize and therefore, their productivity should go up. According to an article from DecodedScience.com, whooping cough the use of sick days, especially during cold and flu season causes losses of productivity in the US annually of $80,000,000 and the absenteeism rate goes up to 32% and the loss of profits is a staggering $17 billion dollars.

To my mind, these are absolutely unacceptable losses. Another upside benefit is that to the customers. By way of example, with whooping cough, there was no way I could go to the office and take care of my mortgage clients, let alone manage my employees. I was able to do work online from home, but, I could not process loans already in the pipeline for closing. As a direct result, I lost money as did my employer and I lost clients as a direct result.

Health Issues

Absolutely, there is a direct link between sitting at a desk all day and heart disease, stroke and other problems, not to mention back problems, carpal tunnel syndrome, and headaches. An in-house wellness program would benefit everybody in the office from the secretary all the way up to the CEO.

The United States has the highest medical costs, including the costs of the hospital, prescriptions, and treatments in the world in terms of GDP and on a per capita basis.

Employee Burnout

Another vicious problem is in the area of employee burnout. When an employee burns out from the stress not just from the office, but also the stress of problems at home, this is even harder to overcome because the trickle down effect to the customers can be very deleterious. In my opinion, it is better to have an in-house employee wellness program that can be accessed to the betterment of the entire company, customer relationships and an upside benefit to the businesses’ bottom line and productivity, no matter how small your business is.