Why Fun Office Fitness Challenges Bring Employees Together

Posted by Seraine Page on Mon, Aug, 26, 2019

Fitness ChallengesReady to help employees have some fun while getting in shape?

An office health challenge focused on fitness is the perfect solution.

Competition is a natural part of office dynamics, so colleagues and leadership might as well have fun with it. Fitness challenges are a great way to encourage friendly competition and healthy habits.

Plus, it’s as easy as incorporating simple fitness routines like daily yoga challenges or even a 30-day step program. Looking to start a new wellness campaign anyways? Fun office challenges can be a great kick-off to larger wellness initiatives.

If you’re looking to keep your staff motivated, energized, and inspired, an exciting office challenge may just do the trick.

What is a Fitness Challenge?

Any organized activity that promotes healthy lifestyle choices with a fun competition between employees or teams can be a fitness challenge. The best part of hosting one is you can create highly customizable events to meet your workplace needs. These events can be very simple and inexpensive, so there’s no need to worry about building a huge budget.

Challenge ideas may cover topics like:

Challenges must have a quantifiable goal like a certain number of steps a week, a dedicated number of days to working out, a set number of healthy meals, etc. This makes it easier for participants to feel as though they are working toward an achievable goal.

Why Host Fitness Challenges?

The best reason to host a fun fitness challenge is to help employees develop healthy habits. Healthy, happier employees are always more efficient and productive employees. It’s also easy to schedule and organize an office health challenge.

Plus, a wellness or fitness challenge can help your company:

  • Collect data to improve your wellness program
  • Increase employee buy-in to your wellness program
  • Demonstrate your wellness program’s effectiveness to leadership
  • Help employees foster stronger relationships with their co-workers

It’s one of the easiest ways to get employees excited about health and wellness overall. When employees feel motivated and joyful about making healthy lifestyle changes, it makes it simpler for them to stick to their personal wellness goals.

How Do Fitness Challenges Improve Employee Relationships?

Friendly competitions provide unique opportunities for employees to encourage and support each other. Whatever the challenge, it's important to remember that employees should feel supported and not ridiculed for any lack of progress.

Typical team building exercises can be routine and ineffective for long-term changes. Working as a team to create healthy lifestyle changes, however, can build stronger, longer-lasting bonds. These common goals also last far longer than a seminar as fitness goals require daily work.

Ways to encourage employee relationships:

  • Weight loss accountability
  • Gym buddies
  • Meal prep swaps
  • Shared self-care dates

When you have employees that make significant progress during a challenge, other employees are more likely to admire and respect them which can help foster new bonds. Working together on wellness challenges will more than likely open up health conversations that employees may not have had a chance to have otherwise. This can lead to greater empathy, understanding, and new friendships between co-workers.

Fitness and Wellness Challenge Ideas

There’s no need to make fitness or wellness challenges complicated. Fitness challenges in particular can embody the mind as much as the body. From focusing on nutrition to working out several times a week, fitness challenges can bring together employees from all departments.

Here are a few fitness challenge ideas to get you started:  

  • Start a daily walking program - Monitor employee steps on a leaderboard to encourage step counting and camaraderie.
  • Strike a pose yoga breaks - Encourage employees to stop at the top of the hour and go through a series of yoga poses next to their desk or in a conference room together.
  • No takeout for lunch - Try a full month of brown bagging healthy meals. Calculate savings employees have by bringing their own lunches.
  • Mindfulness challenge - To reduce stress (and stress snacking!), have employees participate in a mindful Mondays meditation
  • Workout together - Schedule three days per week to meet at the office gym or local gym to get a calorie burn going. Calculate everyone’s calories burned and share in a weekly report to motivate each other.

Ready to Schedule Your Fitness Challenge?

There are plenty of fitness challenge ideas for offices of any size and budget.

The most difficult part for employers is often setting it up with ease. Pick a date to start your challenge and let everyone know the parameters as frequently as possible leading up to the start date.

Marketing, of course, plays a huge part in the success of any challenge you host. Email reminders, text messages, and even weekly meeting updates can be helpful to garner excitement.

And, when doable, include prizes that relate to the challenge. Everyone loves a good prize, especially if it’s an item they’ll use regularly like a water bottle or cookbook.

Not sure what kind of fitness challenge to host or how to do it? Check out our newest guide below that outlines six different health and wellness challenges perfect for any office!

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Topics: Wellness at Work


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