10,000 steps a day? get your employees to move
By steven day in Wellness
A new study by the International Journal of Obesity found that the amount of time spent sitting is related to waist circumference and cardiovascular risk. Research shows that 10,000 steps a day, along with other healthy behaviors, can lead to a decrease in diseases like diabetes and heart disease.
However, most employees spend 8-10 hours a day sitting at their desks on a computer or in meetings. The importance of moving – whether it’s taking a walk every few hours, standing occasionally, or active exercise, is crucial to both our health and productivity.
But how do you get busy employees to take a break and start moving? Wellness activities that are employee organized and employee driven lead to greater participation, enthusiasm, and impact. Here are a few tips to get folks up and moving:
- Get social. Employees want to participate in events and activities with their coworkers and friends at work. It’s much easier to take 10,000 steps a day or a stretching break with someone else than alone. Build in new cultural norms that tell employees it’s encouraged to walk together, eat healthy options together, or drink water together.
- Use social support. Nothing motivates more than social support. Hold challenges and contests at work to help employees adopt healthy behaviors. Whether it’s a water drinking contest, or salad eating contest, or even something fun like capturing photos of colleagues who are up and moving, these challenges and contests foster a fun, social climate for corporate wellbeing (see tip #1).
- Tout events. Do you have a group at work that loves to bike to work? Have them organize an after work bike ride together. Your sales team loves competing in tri-athalons on the weekends? Create a mini-Ironman where employees of all skill levels can participate. Even if it’s just a group of customer service reps who want to lose weight and walk for 30 minutes a day, formalizing these activities into corporate wellness events where employees are in charge ensures they feel ownership, accountability, and passion for wellbeing at your organization.
To learn more about how to create a culture of wellness at your organization, check out our recent webinar on what’s new in wellness.