How to approach physical activity in the workplace?

Sport in the workplace
3 minutes
Without giving lessons or magic bullets, there are various solutions to get the message out in the workplace about the benefits of physical activity.
Without giving lessons or magic bullets, there are various solutions to get the message out in the workplace about the benefits of physical activity.

Breaking the 10,000-step myth

No. Contrary to what some applications, watches and connected bracelets claim, you don’t need to take 10,000 steps a day to stay healthy. In order to convey simple and motivating messages, some received ideas deserve to be forgotten. It is better to communicate on achievable and scientifically validated objectives: 6,000 steps per day, five times a week.

The French National Observatory for Physical Activity and Sedentary Lifestyle (ONAPS) suggests that simply starting by walking for 30 minutes a day can have a positive impact on physical and mental health.


Imagining "0 minute" sessions

It is possible to build muscle or work on your balance while working. That’s what is doing with its “Ma séance de sport 0 minute” program. In concrete terms, the Santé Publique France platform shares several tips, in the shape of short videos, to integrate physical activity into one’s daily life.

An example? Take your feet off the ground for 15 seconds while sitting at your desk and repeat the effort three times.

Sharing infographics

Rather than drowning your employees in a wave of repeated messages, orient them towards the work of the National Observatory of Physical Activity (ONAPS) which condenses its expertise in the form of infographics.

These simple and intuitive communication tools make it possible to understand, in a few seconds, the difference between a sedentary lifestyle and physical activity or the benefits of a daily effort, whether it is moderate or sustained.

Organizing video sessions

In order to adapt to the standardization of remote working, many companies are opting, as part of a preventive approach, to organize physical activity sessions via videoconference. The objective is dual: in addition to the real health benefits (reduction of stress, anxiety or musculoskeletal disorders), the sessions also serve to recreate exchanges and promote team building, even at a distance.

Mixing physical activity and charitable work

The French company GRDF has already invited its teams to take as many steps as possible to transform collective energy into meal baskets to benefit the Food Banks. Each year, BPCE amplifies its mobilization against breast cancer by organizing the “#Generose challenge”. For its part, Heineken invites its employees to choose three solidarity associations as part of a connected physical activity game.

Organized and animated via a mobile application, the solidarity challenges transform the participants’ physical activity into a donation. At the end of the operation, a donation check is given to the chosen association or foundation: cancer research, food banks, disability, help for the underprivileged…

Doing the staircase test between colleagues

What if we told you that it is possible to evaluate your physical condition in five minutes, without performing a battery of tests? François Carré, a cardiologist and sports doctor at the University Hospital of Rennes, is convinced of this and suggests that his patients assess their physical condition using the “staircase test”.

The principle is simple: climb as many floors as possible while running. “This test is considered the best marker of life expectancy. It is the health capital of someone,” says the doctor to Le Parisien. If you give up on the sixth floor, no worries: your physical condition is good. On the other hand, for those who run out of breath before the second, it is recommended to consult a doctor and rethink your lifestyle.

Répondre à 9 questions très simples

“Are you active, inactive or sedentary? Thanks to the Ricci&Gagnon questionnaire (designed by the University of Montreal), each employee can evaluate himself or herself to determine his or her profile quickly with the help of 9 very simple questions.

A questionnaire that managers can test before sharing it with all employees. The primary objective is to facilitate awareness of physical inactivity or sedentary lifestyle.

With collective and anonymized data (in particular via a mobile application), the company can also measure the overall behavior of its teams in terms of physical activity and devise a QWL / health action plan.

Etienne Caillebotte

Contact us!