Every employee’s journey to a healthier lifestyle is unique – some are into it, some aren’t, but we all want to be healthy. Given that exercise schedules compete with deadlines, calls, and meetings, how can we boost workplace wellness and promote an active lifestyle? By building a culture of everyday wellness with a little play in it.

Here’s how you can implement small but impactful practices to engage your teams around their daily schedule.

  1. Set group goals. Put together a fun challenge, and get teams to battle it out. Or even get your own team members to compete. Start with a step challenge – using smart-phones or digital trackers, encourage your people to achieve a milestone number of steps within a limited time. It’s a fun way to activate everyday wellness and step-up team bonding over health goals. BP, for example, runs an annual one million step challenge across employee groups, rewarding contenders and winners with health coverage benefits.
  2. Make lunch breaks fun. Zappos, the online retailer, sets up ‘wellness adventures’ during lunch breaks to help employees unwind over basketball, trampoline, and even laser tag. By making lunch breaks more like school recesses, you can position fitness as a playful break and get your people to approach it with a positive outlook. Toss a Frisbee with colleagues, play a game of kickball, or even play the good old ‘freeze tag’. Not just wellness, even camaraderie will grow!
  3. Set walking meetings. Energize your team with walking meetings instead of sit-down boardroom sessions. Encouraging people to ‘think on their feet’ with these walkabout sessions is not just great for their health, but also contributes to more alertness, new ideas, and relationship building. Depending on the size of the group you could set up the meeting outdoors or within the office premises.

Businesses are finding new ways to introduce fitness into the office routine. Google’s legendary employee benefits extend to standing desks, on-site sports services such as ping pong tables, slides, and even secret ladders to make everyday work flow more active. Not all our workplaces can be designed to promote such activities. But we can start with infusing a little play into everyday work. Are you game?

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