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Implementing a Successful Workplace Physical Activity Program

April 3, 2023 - By Michael Patsatzis

Temps de lecture 3 minutes

Incorporating Physical Activity into the Workplace: The Steps to Follow

The successful implementation of a workplace physical activity program is enhanced if an effective process is in place. A structured approach to implementation includes the start-up, the planning, the implementation, and the evaluation stages[1].

Step 1: The Start-up

For the start-up stage, four main actions are required to get the process off on the right foot. First, the agreement and commitment of senior management are essential elements for the implementation of the program. If the employer is not convinced, a business case may be needed to explain the benefits of such a program. In addition, the appointment of a person or committee responsible for the project is required to ensure its implementation and sustainability. It is advisable to include a member of management on the committee to facilitate links and communication with management. In addition, the evaluation of employee interests makes it possible to engage them in the process and establish their priority needs. Finally, the establishment of organizational objectives makes it possible to orient the process according to organizational needs and issues, the context and the available resources.

Step 2: The Planning

At the planning stage, it is important to choose the best course of action, considering the organizational objective, the needs of the employees and the resources available. If a physical activity program is already in place, this step allows for the evaluation of its effectiveness and the planning of necessary adjustments to ensure its continuity. Finally, for each intervention selected, it is suggested that sub-objectives be established to operationalize the organizational objective and to develop an action plan to support the project.

Step 3: The Implementation

The implementation stage consists of carrying out the planned project. In the case of a workplace physical activity program, it is important to recruit employees and put in place initiatives to encourage their regular participation and maintain their motivation. These initiatives include professional coaching, site security, equipment maintenance and participant recognition. Employee engagement is an important determinant of success in implementing physical activity in the workplace. Employees who have a natural interest in physical activity will be engaged in the program, influence co-workers and contribute greatly to staff engagement. Conversely, the absence of positive informal leaders can be a risky proposition for the success of the program.

Step 4: The Evaluation

Finally, the evaluation of the impact of physical activity on employees and the organization is a crucial last step in the process. It allows us to measure the effects of the health and wellness program on the organizational indicators identified at the beginning of the process and to evaluate the return on investment. 

Nautilus Plus’ Corporate Services offers Quebec employers a clear and structured approach to facilitate the implementation of physical activity programs at work. For more information, please write to ententescorporatives@nautilusplus.com

[1] O’Donnell, Michael (2017). Health Promotion in Workplace, 5e éd., Troy, Art and Science of Health Promotion Institute.

Implementing a Successful Workplace Physical Activity Program is a post from Nautilus Plus. The Nautilus Plus blog aims to help people in their journey to fitness through articles on training, nutrition, motivation, exercise and healthy recipes.
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