The American Journal of Preventative Medicine has reported that too much sitting can lead to chronic health issues and shortened lifespans. Boston Metro employers have taken notice – and action – according to a recent article in Boston magazine. Here are the highlights, along with some tips of our own!
Having treadmills, stationary exercise bikes and stair-stepping machines in the workplace is not a new idea, and some Boston area employers have offered them with mixed results for decades. The cure for the abandoned fitness room involves having designated “fitness breaks” during the workday, allowing employees 20 to 30 minutes to use the facility during their regular schedule.
Worried about the “lost” time when employees are exercising? Don’t be! Studies have shown that exercise can reduce stress, improve alertness and even elevate your mood – all things that can improve productivity.
Group exercise classes are an effective way to get employees involved in workplace fitness. Office locations that have adequate room to offer on-site fitness classes, such as yoga, aerobics, zumba or pilates enjoy good rates of participation. Employers invite professional fitness instructors to come in and run the programs. The cost of the programs can be completely paid by the employer, or subsidized to offer fitness at a discount to employees. Employees enjoy both the health benefits and the social interaction that group fitness classes provide.
Corporate sports leagues are increasing in popularity, offering employees a combination of fitness and recreation, along with some friendly competition. Team sports like softball, touch football and soccer are forming in Boston corporations, complimented by a menu of activities like tennis, bicycling and hiking.
What’s in it for employers? Aside from a healthier workplace, tax credits are available for Massachusetts businesses with 200 employees or less. The tax credits reimburse up to 25% of the costs of implementing a certified wellness program for employees.
There’s no need to turn your Boston Metro office space into a YMCA, but having employee fitness classes and exercise equipment could help boost morale, motivation, and productivity! Fitness programs are also perceived as a valuable part of an employee benefit package, helping to attract and retain workforce talent.
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