The Benefits of Getting Your Employees to Take a Walk During Lunch
In the words of Dr. Thomas Frieden, former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), walking is “the closest thing we have to a wonder drug.” And among recent research findings by the Harvard Medical School, it was found that walking on a regular basis:
- Counteracts the effects of weight-promoting genes: In a study of 12,000 participants who walked briskly for about an hour a day, the effects of these genes were cut in half.
- Curbs carvings for sweets: Just a 15-minute walk can reverse cravings for chocolate and other sugary snacks.
Get People up and Moving
Today’s workforce is more sedentary than ever before, as electronic and online capabilities have replaced the need to physically walk down the hall to speak to a colleague. This lack of physical activity can quickly translate into health problems and related slumps in motivation and productivity. As a business leader, however, you can help turn the tide.
- Encourage employees to walk during breaks and lunch hours, as well as before and after work. An important caveat: If they’ve been living a sedentary lifestyle, urge them to check with their healthcare providers first. Even for those just starting out, something as simple as taking a flight of stairs instead of an elevator can often – literally – be the first steps toward fitness.
Incorporate Walking Into Your Workplace
In addition to fostering physical wellness, walking can help promote camaraderie and unity of purpose among employees. You may want to start a walking club or a league of walking teams that hold friendly competitions against one another.
- Set a reasonable timeframe, such as 90 days or four months. Have employees track how far they walk – and possibly record their starting and finishing weights or body mass index. At the end of the targeted time, you can announce the total number of pounds lost, to keep individual totals confidential. As prizes, imprint your company logo on walking journals, pedometers, water bottles, visors or T-shirts.
You might also:
- Field company teams in charity walks. Ask your employees which charities mean the most to them. Then find one that has a 5K or 10K walk as a fundraiser – and form a company team. Employees who participate can look forward to the triumph of crossing the finish line while at the same time supporting a meaningful cause. And you build an overall healthy culture by linking employee and corporate values.
- Encourage a buddy system. Checking off steps walked with a friend keeps people more motivated and less likely to slack off. And when they start to feel the difference in their stamina, muscle tone and vigor, they’ll want to keep going even more.
Want More Tips For Employee Satisfaction?
Employees who feel well perform well – and as a result, so does your company. For tips on building your strong, motivated workforce and keeping things healthy throughout your organization, contact Frontline Source Group today or click here to find the branch nearest you.