Help employees find time for fitness

What’s the number one reason our on-site fitness center members give for not working out? Not enough time. You want your employees to lead full and balanced lives — and that can be a challenge. Along with being an engaged employee at work, they are trying to be a thoughtful partner, friend or spouse at home. Many are also parents and/or caring for an aging parent. They’re trying to be good citizens and help out in their communities. It all takes time. For many people, squeezing in the recommended 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity exercise may seem impossible. Many give up trying.

The good news

But we have good news for everyone juggling too much. Recently the Journal of the American Heart Association released a new study. It found that moderate-to-vigorous physical activity reduces health risks independent of how activity is accumulated. 1

This means that all of those 5-minute or 10-minute bouts of activity add up! Employees don’t necessarily have to carve out an hour a day to go to the gym. They can sprinkle fitness throughout their day to reach daily movement goals.

In fact, those who move more throughout the day, adding up to about an hour total, can cut their mortality risk in half.

All activity counts

The message to your employees should be that all activity counts, no matter how they accrue it. Yes, you still encourage them to go to the gym. But you can also:

  • Promote the spots in the parking lot that are farther away
  • Ensure your stairways are well lit to encourage people to take the stairs rather than the elevator
  • Schedule a walking meeting
  • Put up posters that urge employees to think about using a restroom or coffee station that’s farther away

It’s said that a body in motion stays in motion. Sprinkling activity throughout the day helps employees become healthier. It can also help them pursue broader or more structured fitness and well-being goals.

To learn more about how Optum can help you, visit



About the Author:

Michelle Percia

Optum Fitness Product Director, On-Site Services

Michelle has been in the fitness industry for over 15 years, in both commercial and corporate fitness. In her current role at Optum, she supports the sales team and each of our nearly 300 clients. Michelle has her BA from Rutgers. She and her husband share their love of fitness with their young daughter.

1 Saint-Maurice PF, Troiano RP, Matthews CE, Kraus WE. Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and all-cause mortality: Do bouts matter? Journal of the American Heart Association. March 22, 2018. Accessed April 18, 2018.

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