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

Ideas > Social Level: Being Active with Your Co-workers

At this level, try to think of ideas to encourage social connections in your workplace while being active.  Think about how you can make the activities welcoming and fun, for as many people as possible.  Encourage social connections that exist outside the workplace, such as family, friends and community events. 

  • Posting activity notice Organize a launch event to create excitement about upcoming activities and to create a social climate that establishes being active as the norm.

  • Organize and promote monthly or bi-monthly company events that are fun and active, e.g., picnics with physical games, staff tournaments or dragon boat racing. Encourage families to join in by including all-ages events such as relay races, soccer matches, bocce ball and baseball games.

  • Start a swim club at a local pool. Invite groups of employees to swim the distance of a nearby lake. Convert kilometres to lengths and reward employees who complete the swim. Set up a challenge between employees and managers to see who covers the greatest distance.

  • Post a sign-up board where staff can join a group or find a buddy to participate in activities of interest.

  • Arrange a company badminton tournament that lasts several months, with each employee playing once a week. Post the results as the tournament progresses.

  • Organize an office Olympics, World Cup, or Masters Games. Invite teams to compete in several activities over a month. Reward everyone who participates.

  • Develop a point system in which one minute of activity equals one point. Set a target, and post a chart where all employees can track their points. You could have employees in teams and reward the first team to reach a target.

  • Co-ordinate a stair climbing challenge. Post a chart at the top of the stairwell, and encourage employees to track the number of flights of stairs they climb each workday. Set up teams, and award a prize to the first team to climb the equivalent of Mount Everest.

  • Post and promote a sign-up board for lunchtime walking groups.

  • Give or loan pedometers to employees, and ask them to record the number of steps they take. Or, if you cannot afford pedometers, track the minutes walked. You can do many fun challenges, such as:

    • Organize a walk “across Canada.” Choose a route, figure out how many steps it would take to walk that distance and challenge employees to do it.

    • Coordinate a million-step challenge. Form groups, challenge each group to walk a combined total of a million steps and reward the winner. Departments or sites could compete with each other.

    • Challenge employees to walk 10,000 steps a day. Provide tips for increasing daily steps, and reward employees who succeed.

  • Co-ordinate a walk to work club. Acknowledge employees who either walk to work or walk to public transit. This could be done for those who cycle as well. Your workplace can also take part in a Commuter Challenge.

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