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How small businesses can incorporate fitness for free

Small businesses can benefit from incorporating fitness into the work schedule of employees, and it doesn’t have to cost a dime.



It’s not just trendy startups that should care

We all know the benefits of physical activity. It’s a major part of a healthy lifestyle. Regular exercise has been shown to decrease depression, to lead to better, healthier choices, and to increase productivity. It’s no wonder that big businesses like to incorporate fitness into their wellness packages. But what about small business? How can we encourage our employees to take fitness seriously and why is it important?

It is easy to see the connection, for big business, between a healthy employees and health insurance costs, but those who don’t offer health insurance can still reap the advantages of implementing fitness and health into the work day. The benefits are numerous and the cost is little.

Six quick ideas:

  1. Try having a fitness contest. Set monthly fitness goals for employees that they keep track of at home and submit at the end of the month. Who lost the most weight? Who averaged the most weekly exercise? Who made the most progress? This is a great workplace morale booster, and because exercise is a proven tool to boost productivity, this idea is a double benefit to your business.
  2. Declare one day a week as take the stairs day.
  3. Join a corporate sports league—basketball and softball are popular corporate sports. Again, this has many advantages. It is a morale booster, a team building activity, and it encourages fitness. Participants may show for the first game without having trained or practiced, but they will often incorporate training and practice into their personal time out of a natural need to have a competitive edge.
  4. Encourage employees to stray from e-mail a bit. Come on! Walk over to the next office and verbally (GASP!) deliver a message. Just adding a minute or two of activity to your day like walking to someone’s office instead of e-mailing, parking a bit further away from the office, or taking the stairs even once a day provides enough of a physical boost that you can tell a difference in your mood.
  5. Unleash your silly. Be the boss who randomly plays dance music and makes everyone dance.
  6. Finagle some work around. See if you can rearrange some hours and assignments so that employees can take the last thirty minutes of the work day twice a week for working out. You don’t have to provide the means or the gym; you only need to provide the time.

There is no question that physical activity is morale boosting. It increases productivity. It is contagious. It promotes workplace relationships. It’s just good business.

Written By

Kristyl Barron holds a BA in English Education from the University of Central Oklahoma and an MHR in Counseling/Organizational Management from the University of Oklahoma. Barron has been writing professionally since 2008, and projects include a memoir entitled Give Your Brother Back His Barbie and an in progress motivational book called Aspies Among Us.

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