Resource of the month: - Explore the best wellness challenge ideas for your workforce

25 Epic Office Fitness Challenge Ideas to Energize Your Employees in 2024

14 min read
Published on 07 September, 2019

With every passing minute, technology gradually progresses deeper into our lives. It is making everything more accessible and convenient for us. But with it, the lifestyles of corporate employees are becoming increasingly sedentary.

Sedentary lifestyles have been related to higher risks of health problems and diseases later on in life. As such, employers need to ensure the proper health and wellbeing of their employees.

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What is an Office Fitness challenge?

“Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body; it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.” – John F. Kennedy

Want to boost your employee’s productivity while taking good care of their health? Try implementing a fitness challenge in your office. Build a healthy work culture in your office through these challenges.

office-fitness-challenge

Office fitness challenges are workplace programs promoting physical well-being for employees. It helps in promoting healthy competition among employees. It usually consists of a set of challenges to be achieved by an individual or a team.

Office Fitness Challenge: The Bridge To Employee Health and Wellness

There are many benefits to creating a workplace fitness challenge. A recent MetLife study showed that holistically healthy employees are

benefits-of-fitness-challenge-statistics

Not only will employees love participating in the challenges, but they will also learn many things that can help them maintain healthy lives.

Here are just a few benefits of creating an office fitness challenge:

  • Increased Energy
  • Increased Motivation
  • Decreased Absenteeism
  • Improved Morale
  • Increased Employee Engagement
  • Improved Employee Health

The Harvard Business Review found that employers who invested in comprehensive health and wellness initiatives saw a nearly 3-to-1 return in money saved.

Top 25 Office Fitness Challenge Ideas for 2024

Here is a list of 25 office fitness challenge ideas to incorporate into your Corporate Wellness programs:

Physical Activity Challenges

1. Cycle-to-work Challenge

cycle-to-work.-challenge

  • A cycle-to-work challenge is a great way to promote fitness and reduce pollution simultaneously. The challenge will aim to cycle to work for several days. The employees who ride their cycles to work can be rewarded with healthy lunches or healthy breakfasts.

  • You can also extend the challenge to a span of 30 days or 60 days, where the employees who cycle the most can be rewarded with lucrative prizes.

2. Step Challenge

step-challenge

  • A step challenge or a walkathon is a specific challenge where participants must walk a certain amount of steps daily. Participation in a walking challenge is effortless and convenient. You can also modify the challenge as per your requirements.

  • Set the number of steps you want as the standard of the challenge. For example, your employees can walk either 5000 steps or 10000 steps a day. Incentivize the challenge by providing small gifts for completing the daily step count.

  • Also, you can set the challenge for a set period, where employees who walk the most steps win a grand prize and a title such as "Walker of the month."

Suggested Read: 7 Ways How Hosting A Walkathon Benefits Your Entire Workforce

3. The 7-Minute Workout Challenge

seven-minute-workout

  • A 7-minute workout challenge is a great way to keep your employees motivated and fit. The workout consists of a set of exercises with brief rest periods in between, running for a total duration of 7 minutes, as the name suggests. Participating in a 7-minute workout is a great way to lose fat and maintain your employees’ fitness motivation.

  • You can easily design and implement a 7-minute workout for your workforce. Vantage Fit, our very own corporate wellness app, can help you to quickly introduce your employees to a practical 7-minute workout challenge and many more. It also allows you to reward your employees with points that can be redeemed for real prizes.

4. Take the Stairs Challenge

take-stairs-challenge

  • If your office is in a multi-storied building, you can create a stair-climbing challenge among your employees. If everything goes well, your employees might completely avoid using the elevator!

  • Set a daily target of stairs to climb for your employees to achieve. Reward employees who climb the highest number of stairs or who complete the target in the fastest time.

Suggested Read: 10 Engaging Weekly Fitness Challenge Ideas To Encourage Employee Wellness

5. The Plank Challenge

plank-challenge

  • The Plank is one of the most effective core-strength training exercises; almost anyone can do it. Doing a plank has many benefits, such as strengthening the abdominal muscles, relieving stress, and improving posture. It is also great because it requires no equipment or weight to be completed.

  • Create a plank challenge among your employees to create a healthy and fun competition among them. Set a minimum duration for every participant to complete and gradually increase the duration. At the end of the challenge, reward your employees with a healthy snack each to keep them motivated.

6. The "New Day, New Workout" Challenge

new-day-new-workput

  • Spice your fitness challenge up by creating an office workout challenge wherein employees have to do a new workout every day. Such a challenge can ensure that employees are working out all their muscle groups and are optimally fit.

  • At the end of each day of the challenge, you can choose to reward your employees with healthy lunches to ensure the optimal replenishment of nutrients in their bodies.

  • To ensure you have no difficulty choosing different exercises for each workout, I have enlisted several effective and proven office exercises in my article - 42 Office Exercises You Can Do At Your Desk To Stay Fit.

7. Corporate Pilates Challenge

corporate-pilates

  • Pilates is a unique form of exercise focusing on building core strength. It also helps in improving body posture and flexibility. Pilates sessions at the office can play an important role in corporate wellbeing.

  • Your company can conduct weekly pilates classes in line with yoga or other fitness classes. The participating individuals can be rewarded with points and gift cards. This will ensure a more productive and healthy workforce.

8. Sleep Challenge

sleep-challenge

  • Encourage employees to prioritize adequate sleep for better focus, productivity, and overall health.

  • Plan a sleep-tracking challenge to monitor employee sleeping patterns consistently.

  • Reward employees for following a healthy sleep cycle.

Suggested Read: Try the Sleep Challenge and Feel More Productive at Work

9. Run to Work Challenge

run-to-work

  • Encourage employees residing near the office to commute via running or jogging. It promotes physical fitness, reduces carbon emissions, and provides an energizing start to the workday.

  • Employees can park their vehicles at a certain distance from the office and jog from there.

  • Track run pace and distance using the Vantage Fit app.

10. Squat Challenge

squat-challenge

  • Squat exercises improve lower body strength and posture.

  • Plan weekly squat challenges such as 100 or more. You can use Vantage Fit’s in-app squats tracker to record each employee's squats.

  • Reward those who are able to complete the weekly targets.

Suggested Read: 30 Day Squat Challenge- Track Your Growth

11. Track Heart Rate Challenge

track-your-heart-rate

  • Encourage employees to monitor their heart rate using fitness trackers or smartwatches.

  • You can set weekly targets, such as monitoring 4 or 5 times weekly.

  • Use the Vantage Fit app with a heart rate tracker. Include it in weekly challenges where employees can be rewarded with points on completion.

Suggested Read: Heart Rate Monitor: Positives, Mechanism, Healthy Exercises

12. Sit-up Challenge:

situp-challenge

  • It promotes core strength and abdominal muscle development.

  • Participants perform a set number of sit-ups, say 50 daily, during breaks or at designated times to improve their fitness.

  • Reward employees who show consistency.

13. Office Stretching Challenge:

office-stretching

  • Encourage regular stretching exercises at the desk to reduce muscle tension and improve flexibility.

  • You can dedicate a 5-minute stretching break at the office. Stretching out with colleagues can also be a part of office fun activities.

  • Reward those who participate in this challenge.

14. Yoga Challenge:

yoga

  • Yoga reduces stress, improves flexibility, and enhances mental well-being.

  • Organize hourly yoga classes in your office, say 3 days weekly.

  • Monitor employee attendance. Reward those who are regular in the classes.

15. Park and Walk Challenge:

park-and-walk

  • Encourage employees to park farther away from the office and walk the remaining distance, say half a mile.

  • Everyone can take part in this challenge regardless of their age.

  • You can appreciate those participating as office environmental champions and other exciting rewards.

16. Deskercise Challenge:

deskercise

  • Encourage short bursts of exercise at the desk, such as chair squats or stretches.

  • Employees can perform these simple exercises at their desks at any moment.

  • Ask neighbor colleagues to keep track of each other’s exercises. Reward those who indulge in frequent desk workouts.

Suggested Read: 13 Best Exercise Equipment For Desk to Stay Healthy

Team-building Challenges

17. Team Workout Challenge:

team-workout-challenge

  • Invite your colleagues to participate in any fitness activity. It can be a team sport such as football, basketball, or workout challenges such as push-up and sit-up challenges.

  • Every once a month, your company can organize sporting tournaments. Your colleagues can participate under their team banner, such as HR, or marketing. The winning team can be recognized and rewarded. This will further boost team harmony and foster competitive spirit.

18. Challenge for Charity

Challenge-for-charity

  • A great way to make every employee participate in a corporate fitness challenge is to create a challenge for a charity purpose.

  • Sign up your team for a charity event in your locality. Many such events, such as marathons, are held, which raise money and awareness for causes like breast cancer, aids, etc.

  • Thank your employees for participating in a just cause and reward them by taking them out to a meal.

Healthy Eating Challenges

19. No Sugar Challenge

No-sugar-Challenge

  • Refined sugar is the root cause of modern-day diabetes and obesity problems. A sedentary lifestyle and consistent sugar intake will lead to various health problems.

  • The “No Sugar” challenge aims to cut sugar intake. You can try avoiding sugar atleast twice a week or in every alternate cup of coffee you have in a day. If you have difficulty avoiding sugar completely at the beginning, add half a teaspoon of sugar instead of a full one.

20. Healthy Snack Challenge:

Healthy-Snack-Challenge

  • Encourage employees to replace unhealthy snacks with nutritious options.

  • You can include healthier snacking alternatives in the office pantry, such as green tea, dry fruits, etc.

  • Keep the healthier snacking section separated. Reward those who choose their snacks from it.

21. Drinking Water Challenge

drinking-water-challenge-1

  • Hydration is key to improving overall well-being, especially in the summer.

  • The Vantage Fit app comes with a daily water intake tracker. You can include it in your weekly fitness challenges to incentivize your employees.

22. Nutrition Tracking Challenge

nutrition-tracking

  • Your employees need to be made more aware of their daily nutrition intake.

  • The nutrition tracker in the Vantage Fit app can help you track your daily progress.

  • Ask your employees to log their daily nutrition intake. You can reward consistent employees by taking them out on a meal.

23. Vegetable Challenge

vegetable-challenge-

  • Vegetables are essential for a healthy diet. But in our busy and fast-paced life, we often ignore them on our plates. Such a lifestyle can negatively impact us in the long term.

  • Challenge your employees to include green vegetables atleast once in their meals every alternate day.

Mental Well-being Challenges

24. Mindfulness Meditation Challenge

Mindfulness-Meditation

  • A hectic workday might affect mental well-being. Mindful meditation helps in calming our minds. It also brings clarity of thought. Refresh your mind by performing some simple and relaxing breathing challenges.

  • You can try mindful meditation by giving yourself 10 to 15 minutes daily. Sit down in a room with a quiet atmosphere. Relax your muscles and concentrate on your breathing. You can also use calming music in the background to make yourself more comfortable.

  • The Vantage Fit app has plenty of meditation resources to help you attain nirvana.

25. No Phone Challenge

  • Reconnect with the real world by disconnecting your smartphone. Go out and meet your friends in real life. Hang out with your loved ones. Avoid the constant dopamine hits by plugging out of all social media platforms.

  • You can start by assigning a no-phone hour every day. During this hour, you will avoid any sort of interaction with your smartphone or any other smart devices. Try performing some social activities to keep yourself busy.

Bonus Challenges

bonus-challenges

Let us learn how to implement these challenges in your office successfully.

Implementing a Successful Office Fitness Challenge Program

The success of office fitness programs depends on the right implementation. Carefully tailoring challenges, keeping in mind the needs of each and every individual, is the key to its success. To set the right course, follow these steps:

1. Understand Employee Needs and Preferences:

understand-employee-preferences

  • Conduct wellness surveys to asses your employees' overall well-being.

  • Inquire about their fitness interests and preferences to ensure the challenge resonates with their desires.

  • Alternatively, you can seek employee suggestions by listing potential challenge activities.

2. Form a Wellness Committee:

  • Create a wellness committee comprising employees from different departments.

  • The committee's role is collaborating on planning and executing the challenge.

3. Define Clear Goals and Objectives:

define-clear-goals

  • Set your fitness challenge’s main objective and goal.

  • These objectives will guide you in tailoring the challenge activities.

4. Choose the Right Challenge Type:

  • Decide what kind of fitness challenge you want to create.

  • Ask your employees to give their feedback.

5. Set a Well-Defined Timeline and Schedule:

  • Determine the challenge duration and schedule activities according to workload and vacations.

6. Establish Clear Rules and Guidelines:

  • Draft rules and guidelines for the challenge, covering aspects like progress tracking, participation requirements, and potential prizes or incentives.

7. Encourage Participation Without Pressure:

  • Make joining the challenge easy and accessible for all employees.

  • Avoid imposing compulsory participation.

  • Ensure that non-participants are not disadvantaged.

  • You can find a few inspiring fitness quotes to motivate your employees to participate in office fitness challenges.

8. Promote the Challenge Effectively:

  • You must educate your employees on the physical, mental, and emotional benefits of physical activity and healthy eating.

  • You need to encourage employees to adopt healthy habits such as exercising regularly, eating healthy meals, etc.

  • Also, send promotional flyers via email to every employee and ask them to participate.

9. Monitor Progress and Adapt:

  • Keep track of your employees’ progress and motivate them.

  • Be flexible and make adjustments as needed to sustain engagement.

10. Celebrate Success:

celebrate-success

  • Reward employees for participation with prizes, gift cards, and reward points. You can give out lucrative prizes for the winners as well.

11. Empower Employee Choice:

employee-choice

  • Let your employees decide on the fitness challenge they want to participate in.

  • This will help increase engagement and enthusiasm among employees.

12. Communicate Effectively:

  • Promote the challenge through various channels, such as emails, text messages, posters, and meetings, to keep employees informed and motivated.

13. Streamline Participation:

  • Use wellness platforms such as Vantage Fit to simplify participation.

  • Sync data from fitness apps and wearables.

  • Offer translated content to accommodate non-English speakers.

14. Prioritize Fun:

priortize-fun

  • At the end of the day, the primary objective of fitness challenges is to have “fun.” Make the challenges enjoyable to ignite excitement and enthusiasm among participants.

  • By following these steps and best practices, you can implement a successful fitness challenge program in your office.

Leveraging Technology for Enhanced Engagement

In recent years, technology has helped promote the office fitness challenge experience. It has transformed an individual's interaction with fitness challenges. Technology makes challenges more accessible, engaging, and effective in the following ways:

wearable-devices

fitness-apps

online-communities

data-analytics

gamification-elements

virtual-reality

Make the best use of technology while incorporating it into your office fitness challenge. Automate wherever possible and simplify participation using technology. Further, as technology progresses, office fitness challenges are set to become more personalized and interactive.

Measuring Office Fitness Challenge Success

Measurement is important to track the progress of office fitness programs. You can use the following metrics to measure the success of an office fitness challenge:

  • Participation Rates: Measure employee attendance and engagement.

  • Completion Rates: Track successful challenge finishers.

  • Goal Achievement: Assess and track fitness goals.

  • Before-and-After Assessments: Evaluate fitness changes in each and every participant.

  • Surveys and Feedback: Gather participant input on their experiences with fitness challenges.

  • Long-Term Behavior Change: Evaluate lasting habits such as reduced absenteeism, etc.

  • Peer Recognition: Reward and appreciate standout participants.

  • Benchmarking: Compare with industry or past challenges.

Vantage Fit

Vantage Fit is an AI-based all-in-one corporate wellness solution app. It can help in the successful creation and implementation of office fitness challenges. It offers a comprehensive range of features:

vantage-fit-app-features

The platform has garnered popularity among organizations of varying sizes, counting giants like Microsoft, Amazon, and Deloitte among its users.
If you want to improve your employee's fitness, Vantage Fit is a great option. It is easy to use and to help you reach your goals. It stands out for being cost-effective and user-friendly while offering a variety of features.

Bottom Line

A recent study by the CDC states that investing in employee health may
Lower healthcare costs and insurance claims and
Reduce the total amount of employee sick days

So, go ahead and promote the best health behaviors among your employees by using these effective fitness challenge ideas for work.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I create an office fitness challenge?

Creating an office fitness challenge is not a difficult task. You can follow these simple steps to get started with:

  • Define your objectives
  • Assemble a planning team
  • Set the duration for the challenge
  • Choose any fitness activity from the above list
  • Offer rewards and incentives to encourage participation
  • Create awareness through email and social media
  • Track engagement and participation
  • Recognize Achievements
  • Allocate sufficient funds to sustain wellness initiatives
  • Ensure compliance with regulations

How do I incentivize a corporate fitness challenge?

Incentivization helps to encourage and motivate employee participation in wellness challenges. Incentivization can be of various types, such as rewards, coupons, gift cards, and so on. You might want to use a specialized platform such as Vantage Fit, which automates the process.

What are some tips for running a successful office fitness challenge?

Here are some tips to run a successful fitness challenge at the office:

  • The goals, objectives, and outcomes should be clear and well-defined
  • Set a positive example by engaging upper management
  • Greater personalization can help boost participation
  • Set aside lucrative prizes and incentives within the budget
  • Track progress regularly
  • Maintain a healthy feedback loop
  • Make the challenges enjoyable and fun

These tips can come in handy to not only sustain but to ensure office fitness challenges are a success.

This blog was written by Shah Alif Ahmed and Bayard Kalyan, who work as marketing and wellness experts for Vantage Circle. For any queries, reach out to editor@vantagecircle.com

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