A sedentary lifestyle is a real scourge today. According to the latest figures from ONAPS (National Observatory for Physical Activity and Sedentary Lifestyle):
- 80% of adults spend at least 3 hours a day in front of a screen, outside of their professional activity;
- They then spend an average of 12 hours each day sitting while working;
- On a non-working day, they sit for 9 hours;
- 47% of women and 29% of men belong to the category of physically “inactive” persons;
- 1 out of 3 adults combines a lack of physical activity and an apparently sedentary lifestyle, which is more significant in women (40%) than in men (24%).
Enough to warn us of the need to act in the fight against the sedentary lifestyle of professionals, especially in the era of remote work where it becomes easier not to leave the house all day, several times a week.
What can you do at the company level to maintain as much activity as possible despite a static work environment? Explanations.
Customize your team’s offices
More and more offices sedentary “emerge. They are simply offices adjustable allowing employees to move from standing to sitting and vice versa.
It’s about adjusting your desk to the most convenient and comfortable position, but also changing it during the day. This promotes stretching, mobility and blood circulation. Some people prefer to work standing than sitting.
Plus, it gives certain workers the option, if they want, to put treadmills (American style) under their desks to increase their daily physical activity and increase their productivity!
Establish a partnership with sports centers near the company
A large group or a local business close to surrounding businesses, you have all the cards in your hands try to establish partnerships with nearby sports centers or associations in the city where your company is based.
By taking advantage of the offer privilege specially designed for your employees, you give more visibility to the sports center and also allow your teams to play more sports.
Then they will be able to register for lower price, but also during the lunch break, before or after the working day. Added to that is the even more motivating group effect of playing sports together. Then you strengthen the bonds between colleagues who get to know each other outside strictly professional frameworks.
Also, if your company is located in a big city, you give a chance to certain workers access to quality sports centers, which they do not have access to in the city where they live. IFit has already shown this in a survey conducted in 2022 22% of French people cannot play sports where they live, especially due to the lack of sports halls, parks and professionals.
Offer subsidies to employees
Some companies fight against a sedentary lifestyle and in favor of the mental health of employees subsidizing part of their sports subscription throughout the year. So it involves reimbursing a predetermined amount, annually, for their membership in a sporting activity.
Indeed, the inactivity of the French is partly explained by the cost it represents. And further according to IFit, 40% of the French could not financially afford to play sports.
Financing all or part of the membership (depending on the activity) is then a real plus! Even more so if your employees have children and have to give up physical activity to finance their offspring.
Offer sports and group activities during the week
You can also be a source of suggestions and poll your team about activities that employees particularly value. It is no longer rare, within a company, to see an organization Yoga, pilates, relaxation workshops during lunch breaks.
This invites workers to take care of their physical and mental health, while enjoying quality activity during working hours. Without restrictions related to private life, without looking at the clock, they enjoy a moment just for themselves.
Set up a joint walk
This is a new emerging trend: walking together. Next, figure out how to hold outdoor meetings: walk with your team to discuss specific topics, conduct one-on-one interviews, etc.
This allows you to combine work with pleasure, and even more easily tackle complex or delicate topics. You feed on the benefits of nature, a breath of fresh air – even in the city – for wandering and talking.
That it stimulates creativity, encourages soothing and pleasant exchange, frees speech, sometimes goes beyond the formal framework of the company. Fight against a sedentary lifestyle with a simple 30-minute walk at lunchtime or during work hours, which replaces meetings in the room.
Be flexible with your schedule
To overcome a sedentary lifestyle, it could be interesting to show flexibility about working hours. Why? This allows your employees to do sports before or after work! Whether they need to go to the gym or do it at home, this flexibility is one less restriction for them, and above all one more step towards physical activity!
Knowing that you are flexible also contributes to their mental well-being and therefore their productivity!
Participate in company-wide sporting events
Depending on the city you are in, events can be organized regularly: marathon, races, challenges or sports challenges… Ask your team to participate with company sponsorship!
You give your brand visibility while allowing employees to be physically active.
Promote the use of stairs
We say too little, but promoting the use of stairs is a gesture made for the benefit of physical health, but also the environment. To motivate your employees, organize a one-month challenge, with a prize! You can also offer them pedometers in order to be more aware of their daily physical (in)activity.
To get everyone involved, lead by example.
Raise awareness of the risks associated with a sedentary lifestyle
Finally, as is often the case, it is always useful to educate your team about the risks associated with a sedentary lifestyle. They are still in control of their choices regarding physical activity, but this awareness can raise awareness, give ideas, give solutions to certain employees.
Involve an expert, train your employees, organize team building or a trial session for team sports, in order to specifically make them aware of this social problem.
Physical activity is necessary for maintaining health. You, as a company, have a role to play in how you can challenge your employees to take care of themselves physically and mentally. The benefits are significant: better mood, well-being, calmness, productivity, efficiency, employees who take care of themselves and feel compelled to do so, will be employees involved in their work, engaged, motivated.
(Photo: iStock – Sean De Burca)