Many companies like to talk big. They make a big deal of how they try to create an amazing company culture and they respect work/life balance, but the truth is, most businesses fail at promoting a healthy lifestyle for employees.

While it’s one thing to talk the talk, offer gym stipends, healthy office snacks, etc. it’s still not enough. I’m not saying that you need to go the extent of forcing people to be active or take breaks, but you need to do something to promote healthier behavior in employees.

But why do you want healthier employees?

Here’s a look at some pretty awesome stats collected by Zane Benefits.

  • Employees who eat healthy are 25% more likely have higher job performance.
  • Employees who exercise for at least 30 minutes, three times/week, are 15% more likely to have higher job performance.
  • Healthy employees take fewer sick days as absenteeism is 27% lower for workers who eat healthy and exercise regularly.
  • Overweight employees cost their employers at least $73.1 billion a year.
  • Employees are 14% more engaged when provided time off to recharge, 10% more engaged when provided healthy food options, 18% more engaged when provided time for healthy activities, and 18% more engaged when provided a flexible schedule.
  • 93% of employers believe healthier employees are more productive

So, if healthy employees are such a big benefit for employers, what can they do to better promote healthy lifestyles for employees?

Examples of Company Fitness Challenges

Outside of providing onsite fitness centers, businesses should be implementing workplace fitness challenges to promote a more active lifestyle for employees.

Step Challenge

What better way to get your team moving than with some fitness challenges? Using programs like step challenges will have your team competing for prizes. Step challenges are a simple, very low barrier way to get your team active.

Wall Sit/Plank Challenge

What about a wall sit or plank challenge? Take 5 minutes out of the day to have every employee participate in a wall sit or plank challenge like FitBug. The goal is to have everyone do it for a set time, and increase the time for the challenge by 10 seconds each day.

Mile-A-Day Challenge

Each month challenge employees to track how many days they run at east 1 mile. The winner at the end of each month gets a prize.

Biggest Loser Challenge

12-week weight loss competition, based on a percentage of weight loss, not actual pounds. NutraClick offered a similar challenge but also provided employees with free personal training services to get them even more engaged.

Physical Activity Challenge

Employees set their own personal goals each week for physical activity. Track everyone and see who’s able to hit their goals. Offer some cool incentives like new gear, electronics, meal subscriptions, free maid service, etc.

Daily Workout Incentive Challenge 

Incentivize your employees to workout! Seems simple right? Well, for a personal fitness challenge you can have employees receive PTO credits for each time they workout for at least an hour.

Train for a 5K Program

Every city has a 5K walk/run. Get your team together to train every day leading up to the event. Make sure to make the training during regular office hours to prevent employees from having to do it on their own time. We’ve found that participation is best either at the end of the day before everyone heads home, early in the morning, or during lunch hours. Oh, and make sure to cover the signup costs for the 5K. The last thing you want is to have to make them pay for it on their own.

Company fitness challenges and programs are a great way to keep your team active and build camaraderie. Do you know of any other fitness challenges or have details on how it worked for your company? Let us know in the comments and we’ll add it to our list.