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Global Employee Health and Fitness Month


Movement positively contributes to the physical and mental health of communities. Our places of work are often where we spend the most time and they are a huge part of our community. As we grow older, we tend to lose ourselves in our work routines and a consistent exercise can sometimes take a backseat. Global Employee Health and Fitness Month was launched in 1989 by the National Association for Health and Fitness to help employers and employees create a healthier lifestyle. One of these projects includes the Global Employee Health and Fitness Month — an award-winning worksite health promotion program.

This lack of activity doesn’t just affect your health. It can have a direct impact on your work performance and engagement. According to studies from the American College of Sports Medicine and the Journal of Workplace Health Management:

  • 60% of employees said their time management skills, mental performance and ability to meet deadlines improved on days they exercised
  • 27% of employees reported higher levels of “dealing calmly with stress” on days they exercised
  • 41% of employees reported higher rates of “feeling motivated to work” on exercise days

Besides these health aspects, the number one benefit exercise has on your work is that it improves your productivity. So, what are some ways can we encourage movement in the workplace? Here are five ways to get moving during the day that can help us all live a healthier lifestyle.

  1. Walking meetings. If we’re all in the office, a walking meeting is a great way to get out and talk while accomplishing a “to-do” from our list. Even if we’re remote, we can still have walking meetings – just use our phones and we can take a 20-minute meeting and turn it into a 20-minute walk!
  2. Find an outdoor space. Parks, trails and outdoor fitness spaces are excellent ways to spend time outside during lunch or before or after work. If there’s one near your workplace, this is a place to go to clear your mind and get a much-needed nature fix! Be creative, even if you don’t have time for a full workout, you can use overhead events for pull-ups or do squats and lunges while you walk on the trail. Sometimes there are even exercise events along a trail so cardio and strength can be done in one place. ACTIVATE® Fitness Circuit is a great option to create a full-body workout along a trail in your community.
  3. Create challenges with coworkers! We spend so much time with our work team that their lifestyles can influence ours. Create step or miles challenges with your work team and make the reward fun. Extra points if you can walk together because an accountability buddy makes creating the time easier and more fun.
  4. Desk workouts. So you can’t leave your desk…that’s ok! There are a few options for getting some movement and not leaving your office space! Some options include squats, triceps dips and pretend jump rope. Here are 25 more ways to stay active at your desk.
  5. Take a stretch break every 30 minutes. These breaks are quick and effective ways to improve eye health and keep your neck and shoulders more mobile and less tense. Mayo Clinic provides some office stretches that can easily be incorporated into your day.

Improved health, mental focus and more engaged employees are all benefits of getting just a little more movement at work. Find what works for you and create a habit. It’s time to move!

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