MARCH MADNESS 15% OFF ALL ORDERS OVER $200 USE DISCOUNT CODE MADNESS15

2017: It's time for businesses to "Step it Up"

by Janine Dilger January 06, 2017

2017: It's time for businesses to "Step it Up"

 

It’s the New Year and people across the country are a week into their resolutions for 2017.

A lot of us make personal resolutions to lose weight and get fit; wouldn’t it be great if companies and corporations across the country did the same?

Studies conducted over the past several years all point to the benefits of physical activity and integrating movement into every day life. What better way to do this than bringing wellness solutions directly into the workplace?

And what better time to implement some new solutions than the New Year?

In a 2015 article in the American Journal of Managed Care, Jack Groppel, PhD, co-founder Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute, says research clearly shows that a healthier workforce is better for business, but many employers have not yet grasped the benefits of offering opportunities for physical activity at work.

“Our own research demonstrates that if employees not only are physically active but get up and move often, and at regular intervals throughout the workday, they are more focused, more engaged and more energized both at work and at home,” says Groppel. “They are more motivated. Think of the impact that can have on productivity and overall job satisfaction.”

In September 2015, the US Surgeon General’s office issued a “Call to Action” for the US to get moving again.

Specifically, to get walking!

At the time, it was noted by Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the Secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services, that only “half of adults and about a quarter of high school students get the amount of physical activity recommended in national guidelines.”

We know not everyone has access to fitness facilities, or spare time in which to hit the gym. But with a solution as simple and accessible as walking, this country has run out of excuses. Walking is a small thing that can have a profound positive impact on citizens’ lives personally, in their communities, and in the workplace.

In his report, titled Step It Up! The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Promote Walking and Walkable Communities, US Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy, MD cites evidence that walking promotes optimal health and mental well-being as a preventative measure. “Physical activity is critical for both preventing and treating many of the chronic conditions we face today.”

Second, he emphasizes “walking…requires no specialized skills or equipment and is a great first step (pun intended) for anyone who has been inactive.”

Third, his Call to Action recognizes “everyone should have access to spaces and places that make it safe and easy for us to walk or wheelchair roll—whether in urban, suburban, or rural settings.”

In short, this call is directed at city planners, law enforcement decision makers, community leaders and business leaders. “Walkable communities are good for social connectedness, good for business, good for the environment and, most importantly, good for our personal health.”

Dr. Murthy goes well beyond simply citing the evidence and stating the facts; he is clearly inviting change. From acknowledging that city planners need to do a better job creating safe and walkable communities, to urging employers and school leaders to implement productive change, such as “breaks during the day or walking meetings.”

In 2013, there were almost 150 million US adults in the labor force, many of whom spend a significant amount of the day at a workplace. In Canada, that number is closer to 18 million, but can you imagine the dynamic change that would take place if employers would set the tone for an active workforce in the New Year?

In an American Council on Exercise article on fostering a culture of physical activity in the workplace, health promotion experts say “an organization-level commitment to focus on employee health as a corporate goal is one the most influential and cost-effective changes to implement. When leaders regularly communicate the importance of employee health and well-being—and walk the talk—it becomes part of the corporate identity.”

The article goes on to say, for employers, “supporting worker exercise efforts sends a strong message of support to employees—which, in turn, can positively affect job satisfaction, retention, and recruitment.”

By implementing programs which support walking and walkability, companies can positively impact the satisfaction and productivity of their employees. And, in effect, positively impact their bottom line.

So, how do companies and business leaders engage a healthy workforce?

Change doesn’t have to be difficult. Businesses can provide opportunities to walk during the day, such as introducing on-site equipment like treadmill desks, sit stand desks and desk pedals, or facilities which allow employees to be physically active, like a gym.

If a company doesn’t have the resources to offer onsite equipment, employers can still encourage and support walking by offering walking meetings or walking breaks. Sometimes just a little fresh air is all that’s needed for a fresh perspective.

Offering incentives, such as free—or subsidized—activity trackers for employees and using them to issue challenges for daily and weekly steps is also a great way to engage employees, boost morale and integrate fitness into the workplace for a considerably lower investment.

So, it’s 2017. It’s time for employers and businesses to “Step it up” and set some New Year’s resolutions for positive change.

At Fitneff you can find a whole range of workplace wellness solutions to get you moving at the office. Check out our great selection of products today.

Don't miss the opportunity to receive a FREE Garmin Vivoki Activity Tracker, with your purchase!





Janine Dilger
Janine Dilger

Author

Janine Dilger is the Calgary-based Director of Communications at Fitneff Inc. Fitneff is dedicated to providing innovative products and solutions that help busy people make their productive time more active. Email: info@fitneff.com @fitneff @walktop


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in WalkTop™ News

Innovative New Program Gets Kids Moving at School
Innovative New Program Gets Kids Moving at School

by Heather Lielmanis March 21, 2017

Free the Numbum is an innovative program designed to get kids moving at school. An Ontario teacher felt that existing recess, phys ed and Daily Physical Activity initiatives didn't quite go far enough to keep kids active, so he created a program of his own. Now it is available to teachers across the country.

View full article →

A Woman's Perspective on International Women's Day
A Woman's Perspective on International Women's Day

by Heather Lielmanis March 08, 2017

Today, on International Women’s Day, I have chosen to profile Laurel Walzak, the female co-founder of Fitneff Inc. Laurel has been successful in so many areas of her career - first as a trailblazer in the sports business industry, then as an entrepreneur and most recently as an Assistant Professor of Sports Media at Ryerson University. 

Laurel also spends a great deal of her time and energy outside the office in efforts to advance the careers of young women who are making their start. I asked Laurel some important questions about the role of women in business, and the role that she plays in advocating for other women in her life.  

View full article →

Stand and Move for a More Productive Day at Work
Stand and Move for a More Productive Day at Work

by Heather Lielmanis March 01, 2017

For almost a year now, Tina Kessler Marquis has been working with a DT2 sit-stand desk at work. She knew that she was sitting too much, and that her days at the office felt long and tiresome, but she didn't realize the true culprit until she made the switch. Since switching to a sit-stand desk, she's standing and moving more and more throughout the day. She feels a renewed sense of energy and focus at work, and she's happy to share her story here today!

View full article →