Our previous blog post was about how lifestyle trends involving fitness, wellness and healthy living are taking over the event business. It is all very well to be looking after your guests and participants in the healthiest way possible, but what's the situation like when it comes to your team?
This post will also reveal how this issue is handled here at Lyyti. Read on!
Exercise at work?
So why should an employer provide their employees with time and resources to do some exercise?
There's no denying it: a healthy work force is more productive than an unhealthy one, regardless of the line of work. It has also been proven that people who exercise regularly generally feel better about themselves and their work than people who don't. So why don't people exercise more?
The most common reason is time, or the lack thereof. Working hours can stretch on, especially during important projects with tight schedules. Between work, family and domestic responsibilities, many struggle to find the time to look after themselves. This is where the employer can help! Fitting some exercise into the working day benefits both the employer and the employee. Even a little goes a long way!
Lead by example
A friend of mine, who works in construction, recently told me about a site he was subcontracting at. The main contractor, one of the biggest in our neck of the woods, had a fitness instructor on site for half an hour in the morning. She held a light warmup and bodyweight exercise class for the builders. Working on a building site is serious exercise in itself, but the warm-up before work had been found to decrease accidents and injuries.
Needless to say, the builders doing jumping jacks in hi-vis gear caused some amusement among the subcontractor guys, but none of them could deny it was a really good idea. Pro tip: call a class "AM Power" instead of "Morning Gymnastics" to get the dudes on board...
When it comes to less physical labour, exercise is just as crucial. In case you missed it: sitting down at your desk is really bad for you! A quick Google search produces a tidal wave of listicles and diagrams on exercises that can be done at the office- when it comes to "deskcercise", your imagination is the limit. But why stop there?
A handout with office chair exercises doesn't do jack, if the person isn't already committed to the cause. Some gentle persuasion can help, and a designated office exercise area is a good start. Pull-up bars, kettle bells, yoga mats and balance tools are safe and fairly inexpensive, too. It's not about sweating, it's about getting the circulation going.
If nothing else gets your work force moving, maybe a financial incentive will? Offer a bonus in the shape of vouchers for different exercise and sports activities, where the recipient can choose their preferred activity. A goodwill gesture from the employer combined with freedom of choice- that's an unbeatable combo! We like this Finnish activity voucher service, maybe there's something similar in your area? If not, most gyms and other establishments of exercise, like yoga studios, will happily offer some kind of enterprise solution.
We're lucky here at Lyyti, because our management team is totally committed to keeping the work force healthy, happy and fit. I'd like to share with you how this is done, because the program is simple, efficient and fun! If even just one of you readers gets inspired by us to get up and move, or to get your co-workers moving, this post will have reached its goal.
We follow this regime called Lyyti Challenge. The three main objectives of the Lyyti Challenge are:
- to increase the physical fitness of all employees in order to directly improve both their physical and mental well-being
- to encourage each team member to challenge themselves and get out of their comfort zones
- to bring the team even closer together
The Lyyti Challenge idea was conceived in 2012. The yearly challenge has varied from cycling 1400 km together as a relay to learning orienteering from zero and then participating in a big orienteering event.
Lyyti Challenge 2016, feel free to copy this idea!
This year we've been assigned the task to try at least 10 new sports or exercise activities, sponsored by the employer. We try them out as a group: so far we've done frisbee golf, bouldering, circus class and basketball. Yoga, western riding, archery, martial arts and dance classes are on the to do-list, among other exciting things.
It is wonderful to be able to try different sports and classes without pressure or commitment! Even the introverts in the group (like myself) participate gladly, because the presence of the colleagues takes the stress and awkwardness out of being in an unfamiliar exercise situation. Cheesy as it may sound, we cheer each other on- and all of us have already participated in activities we NEVER would have gotten around to trying on our own. Best team building exercise ever!