Spacer Physical Activity @ Work inner page Physical Activity at Work: Bringing Physical Activity into the Workday

Ideas > Organizational Level: How Your Organization Can Help Everyone to Be Active

At this level, you should try and make changes or come up with ideas so the organization can support people to be physically active. This may mean using the space and the structure of the building. It could also mean how your workplace is run.  Here are some ideas to help you get started.

  • Walking up stairsMake sure that your building’s stairwells are clean, attractive and safe, and post signs encouraging employees to use the stairs.

  • Establish a wellness newsletter or intranet.

  • Encourage employees to follow the Yoga @ Your Desk, Stretching @ Your Desk or Exercising for Your Hands and Wrists @ Your Desk videos on this website.

  • Use an activity tracker to encourage employees to track their physical activity every week.

  • Be creative, and make the most of the workspace you have. For example, mark off a safe walking path inside or around the building. You might also set up a training circuit, highlighting features of the worksite such as stairs.

  • Offer physical activity opportunities at different times to accommodate night-, shift-, and part-time workers.

  • For workers in remote or satellite offices, offer equal access to key initiatives via the intranet. Adapt challenges to suit their environment and take advantage of local facilities and resources.

  • Make sure physical activity is available to ALL employees. Adapt information and activities for any staff who are visually impaired or physically disabled as well as for people who speak English as a second language.

  • Educate employees about physical activity using information from reputable sources such as the Alberta Centre for Active Living.

  • Offer facilities that invite physical activity and active communities. Possibilities include bike racks, an exercise room, change rooms with lockers and showers, and safe and attractive grounds for walking.

  • Hold walking meetings.

  • Encourage employees to walk to co-workers’ offices instead of e-mailing or phoning.

  • Set up an exercise room. This low-cost initiative requires only a room, stretching mats, stability balls and medicine balls. Put up posters that show stretches and exercises.

  • Provide incentives such as shoe bags, ball caps, T-shirts or water bottles to reward staff participation.

  • Loan out pedometers for three months, so that employees can find out how many steps they usually take and how much activity they need to add to get basic health benefits.

  • Make space for employees to plant and maintain a flowerbed or garden at the workplace. Use any resulting produce for meetings and potluck lunches or donate it to charity.

  • Plan a workplace health fair.

  • Hire a certified fitness specialist to design and manage an onsite fitness facility.

  • Supply employees with active wear that shows off the company logo.

  • If possible, provide financial support to employees who want to take part in physical activity outside of work, e.g., fitness club membership fees.

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