Tips for helping employees stay fit

Not all employers can build walking trails or offer free gym memberships to employees, but even small changes can encourage workers to move. LiveWell Colorado shares ideas:

ALLOW TIME FOR EXERCISE – Flex time can let employees come in late, leave early or use their lunch hour to get some exercise.

LET’S TAKE THIS OUTSIDE – Some meetings require PowerPoint presentations, but Lisa Walvoord of LiveWell Colorado told this reporter I could’ve interviewed her while we took a walk instead of while I sat at my desk and talked to her by phone. If a meeting lasts longer than an hour, take a break midway for people to stand and stretch.

RETHINKING THE SNACK ROOM AND THE OFFICE LUNCH – LiveWell Colorado has a fruit bowl instead of a candy bowl in the office. Replace sweetened beverages with water. Office microwaves and refrigerators allow employees to bring in home-cooked meals for lunch. For work lunches with catered fare, consider ordering sandwiches with whole-grain bread. Watch serving sizes.

GET ON THE BUS, GUS – Giving employees bus passes can encourage exercise, because people often have to walk farther to catch a bus than they would have to walk from a parking lot if they were driving. Also, make sure there’s a bike rack outside.

TAKE THE STAIRS – Good signage can remind and encourage people to use the stairs. Keeping stairwells safe, clean and lit can help too. So can slowing down the elevators.