Spring is in full swing this May and if you’re stuck at a desk, there may be a good reason you’re feeling a bit antsy. May is Employee Health and Fitness Month. According to the National Association for Health and Fitness, it is an international and national observance of health and fitness in the workplace. The National Association for Health and fitness, along with another non-profit organization, Active Life, created the month to, “promote the benefits of a healthy lifestyle to employers through worksite health promotion activities and environments.”
Wellness at work is important in that most adults spend a majority of their time there. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention more than 50 percent of American adults do not engage in the required amount of physical activity for health benefits, and 25 percent of adults are not active at all. The reason, many of them cite, is “Not enough time.” So, by incorporating fitness at work employees can make the time for wellness.
There are several recommended steps for employers to suggest to their staff throughout the month including: “Healthy Moments,” which can encompass everything from going for a walk to quitting smoking. Second, forming “Healthy Groups,” that will be sustained beyond May and can be everything from a company sports team or cycling club. Finally, EHFM creators suggested a “Culminating Project,” which can consist of a company 5K or community garden, etc.
As a fitness expert myself, I have seen successful workplace wellness programs to help fight off obesity and promote overall health. This in turn combats many of the occupational hazards including obesity as a result of being in a sedentary job. There are also many studies that show exercise programs in the workplace have been proven to increase productivity and lower absenteeism. Studies also show that a total approach to fitness will result in making your employees more effective at their jobs, translating into an increase in revenue for your company.
A healthy employee has better morale, and is more disciplined.