We’re seeing a positive trend when it comes to exercise and physical activity in America. According to a 2015 Gallup poll, 52.5 percent of Americans report exercising for at least a half an hour, three or more times per week during the first half of 2015. In June, that number rises to 55.5 percent. The same poll points out physical activity decreases during the winter months. As these statistics show, there is a seasonal trend when it comes to exercise in America.

It can be difficult to stay active once old man winter comes. It’s cold, there’s less daylight and people tend to go into hibernation mode. But physical activity doesn’t have to suffer. Learn several employee wellness activities to keep staff active this winter.

4 winter workplace wellness activities

  • Walk: A Livestrong® article says walking 10,000 steps a day is equivalent to 30-minutes of strenuous exercise or a 5-mile walk. Even when the snow is falling and wind is blowing, employees can go for a stroll. Hospitals or clinic hallways, nearby malls or a church gymnasium make perfect makeshift tracks. Promote workplace wellness activities with organized group walks over lunches, before work or after work. Throw in logo’d pedometers to help employees track their progress. You may even want to hold a drawing for those who consistently meet their 10,000-step goal. A fitness tracker or walking enthusiast kit make great incentives.
  • Rake or shovel: Yard work can be excellent exercise. According to WebMD®, raking and bagging leaves burns 350 to 450 calories per hour, and shoveling burns 400 to 600 calories per hour. Put these employee wellness activities into overdrive by organizing a team service day. Gather volunteers to complete yard clean up for your community’s elderly or disabled. Provide participants with logo’d hats or scarves that serve both to thank participants and to give your group a unified look.
  • Make movement imminent: Do you have a piece of equipment that staff uses frequently? com says move it. Place printers, garbage cans or other frequently accessed equipment out of reach to encourage movement. A team-wide boycott of elevators and front-row parking promotes extra physical activity, too.
  • Organize winter wellness activities: Does your team regularly get together for activities outside of work? Offer to host the next one at your neighborhood ice skating rink, sledding hill, snow-shoeing trail, etc. Provide free or discounted admission to promote participation. Top the night off with a small parting gift—perhaps a logo’d mug filled with hot cocoa.

Don’t let physical activity suffer just because it is winter. There are plenty of ways to get staff up and moving—try one or more of these employee wellness activities, or try one of your own. Just keep moving!

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