If you asked employees if they would like to get more exercise, most would agree that they would prefer to be more physically active, but finding time for fitness is challenging.

Why is it so important for employees to be active? Consider the facts:

  • Physical inactivity and its adverse health effects are comparable to that of smoking and obesity.

  • Sedentary jobs have increased 83 percent since 1950.

  • More than 80 percent of American adults do not meet the recommended amounts of physical activity.

Not only does being physically active boost the health of employees, but it's good for businesses, as well. Research shows that workers who exercise during the day reported a 15 percent boost in performance, a happier mood and increased ability to meet deadlines.

Employers invest in corporate fitness

We know that on-site corporate fitness classes can offer a great medium for improving employee health and infusing movement into sedentary lifestyles.

Yet, even without an on-site fitness center, there are simple ways to help employees find time for fitness and support their overall health and well-being.

One way we have found success with our corporate fitness and health management client sites is in changing their perception of how much time it takes to be healthy—offering short, convenient ways for fitting fitness into their daily schedules.

Here are eight examples of how you can help your employees find time for fitness.

1. Leadership support

At one of our technology client sites, a focus group shared that a key barrier to exercising during the day was an underlying perception that if they were seen working out, they would be viewed as slackers. We helped change that perception by recruiting members of the C-suite leadership to work out while on the clock, opening the door for employees to see that fitness was a priority all the way up the company ladder.

2. Offer a variety of fitness options

To appeal to the range of ages and diversity of employees at a leading biotech company, 15 weekly group exercise classes are offered—from strength training to Pilates to high-intensity interval training (HIIT) classes.

3. Extend hours of corporate fitness center

At one of our manufacturing client sites, the staff has extended the hours of the fitness center early and late to accommodate different work shifts. At another site, employees at a high-tech company work a variety of hours throughout the day. To meet the needs of this diverse group of employees, the fitness center is open 24/7 and is staffed from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

4. Step up to better health

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