Oct 12 2010
Interest in increasing exercise ranks nearly as high as weight control in staff member interest and need. Ideas for increasing staff member awareness and participation in physical activities follow –
Fitness classes in the worksite – On-Site exercise can be much more convenient for personnel. However, onsite classes require logistical planning and coordination with attention to details.
Onsite classes are typically more feasible for bigger corporations. As part of the steps in planning and assessment, speak with other health promotion programs offering worksite classes. Ask what their experience has been like.
Speak to potential providers in the area as well. Find out what it would take to offer an onsite fitness class. YMCA’s, gyms, and community recreation programs are excellent resources for this type of discussion.
It’s also feasible to offer a “mini” introductory worksite class series. A mini series might consist of an introduction to a new physical activity area. Employees are then expected to make the transition to home or community based programs.
Nerf Olympics – Nerf games are fun (and entertaining) activities that encourage movement, flexibility, stress reduction, and normally are a good laugh. When planning such an activity consider establishing up a “challenge” stations with various activities.
Ideas for activities include hula hoop contests, Nerf basketball free throws, Nerf football tosses, Frisbee “golf”, jump rope, etc. the Wellness Team will lay out the course.
Each participant goes through the stations and gets a “gold” medal (you can purchase these at party stores and toy stores inexpensively) for completing all of the stations (no matter how badly they perform).
Start each participant at intervals authorizing for smooth running, but expect high difficulty stations to be backed up. This delay can add to the fun and creates a “keystone cops” scenario.
Nerf Olympics is a good activity to do with an audience, so encourage cheering coworkers.
Offer incentives to workforce who engage in aerobic exercise like walking, running and bicycling on their own time (see goal establishing program, offer points toward prizes, etc.).
Distribute maps of walking/jogging trails located near the workplace. Mark distances in steps and miles. Be certain to encourage workforce to walk during lunchtime and/or break times.
Post a steps gathered map on a workplace wall where employees can log their steps or miles. Check with CIS Healthy Benefits representative regarding pedometers and physical activity kits.
Be sure to encourage joggers, walkers, and those who enjoying other forms of exercise to form exercise groups to meet before work, at lunch, or after work.
Promote the use of stairs in lieu of elevators. Place bulletin boards, art contests, etc., in stairwells.
Sponsor “Bicycle-to-Work” or Walk-to-Make certain to work week.
Schedule five-minute desk stretching at the worksite. This can relieve repetitive motion problems in addition to eye and back strain.
Sponsor a personal challenge activity like “Climb a Mountain” or “Swim a Sea”. This is an honor system program in which participating personnel are awarded minutes, steps, or miles credit for cardiovascular exercise (swimming, walking, running, skiing, bicycling, stair stepping, aerobics, etc.).
The object of this kind of challenge is to accumulate the equivalent mileage it’d take to reach the top of a famous mountain, span a body of water (swim the Columbia River), or reach a distant city/county.
Try personalizing the challenge as much as possible to individual interests and/or area geographical matches close to the workplace.
Collect a variety of exercise video or DVD tapes. Workers can either take a look at a tape for home use, or offer a group activity video class.
If it isn’t possible for staff to leave the building to exercise or workout at lunch, attempt establishing an in-house aerobic walking track for staff member use in an unused part of the worksite for lunch, break or after hours use.
An example of how this issue might be solved is the use of stationary bikes and other small exercise equipment provided for staff by some 911 call centers.
Sponsor a “Personal Best” Challenge”. Staff Members run, walk, bicycle, etc. their own personal best time. Repeat the personal best challenge each quarter to six months. Each time an worker improves, offer recognition and an appropriate award.
Furthermore, recognize those workforce who maintain their personal best in the same way. Make sure to encourage non-participating workforce to get involved.
Assist these person in choosing an activity that is comfortable and of interest for them, and one in which they are able to succeed and progress.
When you offer an introductory or other on-site exercise class or activity, make sure the instructor can relate to the audience, and the audience can relate to the instructor.
Have a Health Promotion Committee member attend a current class by the selected instructor class prior to the instructor conducting a class at worksite. In addition, consider the staff who might be potentially attending the class.
Sometimes larger and/or older exercise instructors are often better accepted by audiences who are similarly sized and aged.
Sponsor a themed “virtual” trek. Calculate the mileage for the proposed “trip” ahead of time. Be sure that the distance is appropriate for the number of expected participants and time for the event (six to eight weeks) works well.
For longer events, small teams can accumulate their mileage for the trip. Establish a reporting network. Post a map to track the trip. Chart the progress with stick pins, a magic marker, or a highlighter.
Provide a brief humorous fictional narrative of the trip, posting a new one each week. Include as many participants’ names as possible. Alternate posting humorous texts with health tips along the way. Provide an incentive at the end of the trip.
Ideas for Physical Activity Themes –
Swim the Mississippi to the Mardi gras.
Take a tour to all Oregon counties.
Take a tour of Oregon from Enterprise to Brookings.
Run or walk around the world (25,000 miles).
Tour de France (take all summer)
Tour de France on a stationary bicycle (take all winter)
Climb Mount Everest (stairs or stair climbers). Target Sir Edmund Hilary’s birthday or the anniversary of the first conquest as a completion date.
Climb Mount Washington or Mt. Hood. Target President’s Day as a completion date.
Climb any meaningful mountain and tie it to any remotely related event.
Use time in exercise as a measurement for the contest rather than distance. This permits you to treat all forms of aerobic exercise more equitably.