5 Ways to Promote a Fitness Lifestyle in Your Workplace

Poor employee health costs US companies billions of dollars a year. Reduced worker productivity due to sick leave can have a devastating impact on business performance. Preventable diseases make up the largest part of healthcare costs today. Fortunately, there is also good news. There are five steps companies can take to improve employee health and fitness, reduce the risk of illness and injury, save millions of dollars, and improve overall performance.

1. Offer flexible working arrangements. Flexible work arrangements are work schedules that allow employees to work outside of the standard 8am to 5pm range while maintaining a high level of service to internal and external customers. This gives employees the ability to create work schedules that are more conducive to their work-life balance and overall performance. Common flexible working arrangements include Flextime during rush hour (flexibility at start and end), Shortened work week (Full-time employment 4 or fewer days per week), telework (working from a remote location), job sharing (two people sharing the duties and responsibilities of a full-time job) and informal flexibility (Change requests in the regular timetable for personal reasons).

2. Offer health check-ups. Screening services are an excellent way to help employees understand their current health status. The most common services include health risk assessments, blood lipid tests (e.g. cholesterol, glucose), blood pressure checks, body composition measurements (e.g. body mass index, body fat percentage), muscle strength and flexibility assessments, cardiovascular fitness tests, and bone density screening.

3. provision of educational programs and services. Educational programs may include classroom seminars, online tutorials, and printed materials. Common topics include nutrition, weight control, stress management, work-life balance, disease prevention, managing health conditions (e.g., high blood pressure, diabetes), starting an exercise program, cardiovascular fitness, strength training, children and exercise, improving sleep, women’s health, health and male safety (eg, CPR, first aid, back safety).

4. Offer behavior change programs. These programs can be of great benefit to employees who are struggling with a specific health or fitness issue. Some examples are smoking cessation counseling, weight loss programs, and stress reduction programs.

5. Providing a fitness center for employees. While the first four steps are relatively inexpensive, building an employee fitness center requires a significant financial investment. However, a company gym can be more cost-effective than the other activities, as research has shown that employees who use their company gym are more productive, get along better with colleagues, and manage work demands more effectively. In addition, workplace training programs can pay off in reduced healthcare costs, absenteeism and stress, and increased morale and productivity. If the cost of providing a fitness facility is too high, an alternative is to offer discounts or refunds for employees who join a local gym.

Thanks to Tyrone Holmes | #Ways #Promote #Fitness #Lifestyle #Workplace

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