The most effective physical activity programs combine multiple approaches to impacting employees. These include:
- Policy changes, like allowing time for staff to exercise during the work day
- On-site exercise facilities or areas set aside for physical activity
- Group activities, like walking groups or games, and
- Educational resources, like books or flyers about physical activity to help employees learn more.
What Can Employers Do to Promote Physical Activity?
Employers can promote and encourage increased levels of activity by developing an organization-wide plan or policy to support employees being more physically active. This plan can include many individual strategies, such as:
- Offer flexible work hours that allow for physical activity and exercise, including longer lunch breaks.
- Encourage use of stairs, physical activity breaks, walking meetings and use of stand-up workstations.
- Providing on-site exercise facilities and classes for physical activity, or access to facilities or property nearby with before and after work access.
- Promote discount memberships to commercial fitness centers, gyms, or exercise classes.
- Provide and promote a map of walking routes on or near worksites.
- Encourage employees to walk, cycle or jog by offering secure cycle parking (bike racks), developing a travel plan and providing information about and actively promoting local walking and cycle routes.
- Provide education and discount resources for using public/alternative transportation, including bus routes and safe routes for biking and/or walking to work.