Making Healthy Moves in the Workplace

Our current BizVoice magazine features a special section on wellness programs, initiatives and successes. There are a number of good stories. I’m partial to a briefs package that ranges from treadmill desks to healthy vending machines and more. Check out the full lineup.

In addition, there was a recent study from Australia that offered simple methods to help get employees on the move while they are on the job. These five tactics should resonate everywhere:

1. Enable face-to-face chats rather than instant messages or email. The simple act of getting up and walking over to a colleague’s desk to chat is not only more efficient than digital forms of communication, but it gives employees a brief bit of downtime, which could spark creativity.

2. Install a visible water cooler. This visual cue will hopefully encourage employees to hydrate well and often, which forces them to stand up and walk around.

3. Host standing meetings. An added benefit of standing meetings is that they encourage attendees’ interactions to be concise and germane, boosting productivity.

4. Encourage exercise balls, walking desks and adjustable workstations. By encouraging an active work desk — standing workstations, treadmill desks, exercise balls — rather than standard desks and chairs, you can subtly reinforce your company’s commitment to health and wellness.

5. Institute activity breaks. Regular activity breaks can boost creativity, improve health and decrease stress. While you may not have the space or resources for a dedicated game or exercise room, employees could take walking brainstorm meetings around the block or jet out for 10 minutes of stair-climbing to beat the afternoon lull.