10 ways to stay fit and healthy on the job
Businesses always have money in mind, and when it comes to getting healthy, this can work to your advantage. Some employers offer financial breaks on healthcare costs or even cash bonuses to encourage employees to implement healthier habits in their lives like eating less fast food, taking walks on their breaks, and stopping smoking. Incentives can give you a tangible result for your hard work perhaps before you see the physical results. And who doesn't want a little extra cash? Now that you're motivated, here are some ideas to help you and your coworkers achieve your get-healthy goals.
You Are What You Eat
During a busy day at the office, sometimes it's hard to pause your work and figure out how to have a healthy lunch. Instead of scrounging up 75 cents for M&Ms from the vending machine, why not opt for a healthier snack option? Companies like Healthy Vending can install eco-friendly vending machines in your office that offer better-for-you products like coconut water, dried fruit, and pita chips.
Challenge Your Team
With all that energy you'll have from your healthy snacking at the office, it's time to get the whole company up and moving. Larry Lipman's Fun Team Building offers Atlanta Ropes Courses to encourage creative problem solving, teamwork, and of course, physical fitness. Companies have two ropes courses to choose from—the low ropes course, which is a ground-based obstacle course, or the high ropes course 30 feet up in the trees that will really get your heart pumping and burn some calories. Whichever course your company opts for, you're sure to see physical benefits of the activity and mental benefits from the deeper connection with your coworkers.
Join a League
Another way to build team spirit while improving your fitness is to literally join a team—a sports team, that is. Get a group of coworkers together and join a local softball or basketball league through an organization like Atlanta's ZogSports. Even if your level of play is lower than others, you can still get out there and run around with your officemates. Any sport you choose will boost your heart rate, your mood, and your bond with each other.
If you really want to test that bond, let a coworker hold your belay rope as you tackle the 60-foot rock climbing wall at Stone Summit Climbing & Fitness Center. Rock climbing is a great total body workout, even exercising your mind as you analyze which hand or foothold to head to next. And where better to do it than the largest indoor climbing wall in the U.S.? Stone Summit offers corporate memberships, so rally the troops and head out for a climb.
One Step Forward
For those of you quivering in your desk chair at the thought of having to throw a ball or be high off the ground, don't think you're off the "office fitness" hook! There are still plenty of options for you, like starting a running or walking group with your coworkers. Take a mile-long walk together during part of your lunch break to stretch your legs, give your eyes a rest, and catch up on each other's lives outside of work. You'll return to the rest of your day more productive, more cheerful, and one mile more fit. Another option to include coworkers from every fitness level is to go on a corporate fitness retreat.
Team Building Events
Kaiser Permanente Corporate Run/Walk
Many companies get motivated by participating in different events. Corporate Environments and J.M. Huber Corporation are two companies who have formed teams for this year's Kaiser Permanente Corporate Run/Walk. This year marks Corporate Environments' fourth year participating in the event. As a company, this is the biggest event they are involved with outside of the office. With nearly 20 employees currently registered, the captains of J.M. Huber Corporation's team are organizing team walks during lunchtime at or near the office and encouraging team members to participate in the free, eight-week Get Active Atlanta! training program.
We asked our Facebook community:
How does your company keep its employees healthy?
Anisa International – Gym memberships
Anisa believes in wellness coming from within and promotes exercise and well-being as part of a balanced lifestyle. The company offers a pay-back program where the company covers the cost of gym membership fees. They have also brought in yoga instructors to the office a few times.
— Shana A. King, Senior Director, Beauty & Education
Advanta Total Health – 90-day office health challenge
All of the employees wanted to lose a few extra pounds, so we all decided to participate in a program designed to eat healthier for 90 days. We start our morning with a meal replacement shake by Visalus and for lunch we have a spinach salad. Each person eats a healthy dinner at home. We weigh-in every Monday and at the end of the 90 days we each will receive a $50 gift card for participating, courtesy of Dr. Schuyler. To us it is not who loses the most, it's the journey.
— Corde Carter, Clinical Director
DeKalb Medical – Training programs
We created an employee health and wellness program called "I REACH! 4 Health" to reinforce the connection between our employees' health, wellness and ability to demonstrate our values. We are empowering our employees to get active, eat healthy, reduce stress and improve sleep. Our goal is to have at least 250 employees participate in the Kaiser Permanente Corporate Run/Walk & Fitness Program. The "I REACH! 4 Health Corporate Run/Walk Challenge" is a means for employees get into better shape, train to run or walk in the race, and build healthy social connections.
— Shealynn Buck, MD, Executive Director Employee Health Solutions
Kaiser Permanente of Georgia – Healthy snack options
Kaiser Permanente of Georgia is introducing "Healthy Picks" inside its vending machines. The snack items must fall into one of three categories: heart healthy, low sodium or low sugar. Taste tests were held to introduce the Healthy Picks to patients, employees and doctors. "We want to show people that healthy food can taste good and be convenient and affordable," says Kathryn Harrison, manager of health promotion at Kaiser Permanente of Georgia. "Although we realize that this change alone may not dramatically alter our dietary habits, it is an important first step toward helping us all achieve a healthier diet."
— Kerri Hartsfield-Johnson, Kaiser Permanente of Georgia
Healthy Vending – www.healthyvending.com
Kaiser Permanente Corporate Run/Walk – www.KPcorporaterunwalk.com
Larry Lipman's Fun Team Building – www.funteambuilding.com
Stone Summit Climbing & Fitness Center – www.ssclimbing.com
ZogSports – www.zogsports.com/atl