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Workplace Physical Activity Programs: Keys to Success

To make a difference in the lives of your fellow workers, you first need to understand that getting active is not only a matter of choice. Some things are within our individual control, but others are molded by the people and circumstances in which we live and work.

It‘s Easier to Be Active When…

• We know what to do and have the confidence, skills and opportunity to do it.
• It’s fun. “Working out” at the fitness center does not appeal to everyone. Activities need to reflect what people enjoy.
• Our friends, family or co-workers are active with us (or at least support us).
• We feel safe, thanks to well-lit streets or stairways.
• Sidewalks, walking/biking trails, parks and gyms are nearby.
• We have money to pay for equipment, instruction or memberships.
• We can walk, bike or take public transit to work.
• Active choices such as taking the stairs, having stretch breaks at gatherings and heading outside at lunchtime are “normal” in the workplace.
• Managers support and recognize employee efforts. Better yet, they take part.
• We can juggle our work hours to fit in physical exercise.

Think about how you could set up some of these conditions in your workplace. By taking these steps, you’ll increase the likelihood that workers both want and are able to be active during the workday.

Workplace physical exercise pushes that focus only on individuals have limited success. Research shows that reaching people in various ways gives the best chance of long-term success.

A plan directed at multiple echelons is also called an “ecological approach.”

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