Setting a "Walking at Work" Environment for Employees:
Research indicates exercise at work works! Many employees claim that during the work day is the only time they can exercise. Therefore, it is extremely beneficial for employers to encourage employees to exercise during breaks, lunch or immediately after work. What can companies do?
- Employ an exercise leader to teach aerobics, yoga, kick-boxing, etc. immediately after work.
- Allow employees to quit work 10-15 minutes early to walk. All that's needed is a pair of athletic shoes and a few breaks. Studies suggest that walking in 10-minute increments several times throughout the day can have benefits equal to or greater than exercising in 20-30 minute blocks.
Ways to encourage walking during work hours:
- Place signs in the building pointing to staircases.
- Place signs or create handouts describing distances inside building. You can map these using a reliable pedometer, which can be found on-line or in sporting goods stores. Some companies allow signage or masking tape to mark distances so that employees don't have to purchase individual pedometers.
- Place signs or create handouts mapping the building grounds or neighborhood with distances. It's easier than you think when you use the www.gmap-pedometer.com online mapping tool.
- Post bulletin boards promoting health and healthy behavior.
- Post information in the break room on calorie expenditure during walking.
- Recognize employees who have stepped into the fitness model.
- Remind walkers to record their physical activity on the Fit City website at www.fitcitychallenge.org. (You can record all activities in minutes, steps or miles so a pedometer is not required.)