Offer fitness equipment to encourage physical activity at work

Everybody needs at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity—enough to feel your heart pumping and increased breathing—every day. Luckily, we don’t need to get all 60 minutes at once. 

Businessman on treadmill

Healthy workplaces stock a fitness area or activity room for employees to use during the workday. The return on investment in employees’ physical activity is significant—improvements in employee health as well as improvements in productivity, absenteeism, and morale.

Fitness equipment can fit easily in a break area, empty office, or seldom used conference room. Smaller items can be offered for employees to “check out” and take to their work area. Consider these possibilities:

  • Stationary bike
  • Elliptical
  • Treadmill
  • Mini trampoline
  • Resistance bands
  • Hand weights
  • Standing desks
  • Exercise/stability balls
  • Under desk pedal exercisers
Woman at a desk with a resistance band

Healthy workplaces also support employees in their efforts to get more active by sharing tips—hang signs or offer ideas in emails and newsletters. Here are a few examples:

5 Anywhere, Anytime Fitness Activities
Get Active at the Office or Anywhere with these 10 Easy Exercises

Managers and others can encourage physical activity by taking a few additional steps:

  • Set a good example. 
    More employees engage in workplace wellness activities when leadership actively participates, rather than passively supporting the idea. 
  • Reward users. 
    Sporadically “catch” employees using fitness equipment or choosing stairs over the elevator; offer a grocery gift card or company-branded swag as a reward. 
  • Plan activity breaks.
    Ask meeting planners to write movement breaks into agendas; encourage standing, walking, or stretching during this time. 

You might also like:

– Low cost employee wellness program ideas
– 5 Tips for a successful employee wellness program

More ideas

Get in-depth tips and resources to help employees get moving in our guide, 5 Simple Steps to Increase Physical Activity at Work