What? No expensive new gym for workers?

Try these low or no-cost options

"You don't need to build a half million dollar fitness center to have a fitness program," says Don R. Powell, PhD, president and CEO of the American Institute for Preventive Medicine, a wellness program provider based in Farmington Hills, MI. "That is a lot of resources to devote to one aspect of wellness. Also, oftentime the employees who do go to the gym are already working out. You are just making it a little more convenient for them." Here are some less expensive options, suggested by Powell:

  • Give employees a map showing a three-mile route and a five-mile route for them to walk or jog around the worksite to encourage exercise.
  • Put in a shower so employees can work out during lunch breaks without going back to work sweaty.
  • Bring local fitness instructors onsite, such as a YMCA personal trainer or a yoga teacher, at a cost of $20-$40 per hour.
  • Negotiate a reduced rate for a health club membership. Instead of subsidizing the cost, contact a local YMCA or sports club, and say, "We are going to encourage physical activity at ABC company, and we can publicize your club at the worksite with X number of employees. What can you offer as an incentive?"

"Other than the nurse's time, there is no cost associated with this," says Powell.