Exercise and nutrition aren’t just about looking good–they are the keys to creativity, focus, and productivity. Try these ideas to help your team feel and perform their best.

Set clear break time policies

One way to encourage employees to get up and start moving when they feel the need to refocus is to offer clear break time policies. For example, if employees have an hour lunch break, allow them to break it up throughout the day, or even allow everyone free to take a 10-minute break every hour or two in addition to their lunch hour. Clarifying the policy will reinforce the value of exercise to increase productivity, and make employees feel less worried about whether they appear to be busy enough. Let employees clock out if they need to take a longer walk, with the understanding that they can make up the time later in the day. Our time tracking mobile app makes it easy for employees to clock in and out quickly from their mobile devices.

Make your office bike commuter-friendly

One great way for office workers to stay in shape is to bike to work where possible. Help your resident cyclists by providing a secure place in the office for their bikes (or a bike rack outside, depending on your location). Also, set aside some space for bike commuters to keep a change of clothes or other cleaning up supplies, like dry shampoo or cosmetics, so that they can feel and look their best after a bike commute.

Offer healthy snacks

It’s a cliche of the overworked employee to push through late nights or early mornings with sugary donuts, greasy chips, oily pizza, etc. Stress tends to make us crave carbs, salt, and other stuff that seems like a good idea at the time, but leads to an unmistakable crash. Fruit, whole grains, vegetables, and protein are better for the brain and body. Vendors like The Fruit Guys and Nature Box Corporate deliver monthly packages of healthy snacks–perfect for keeping your team durably fueled. Ordering in advance means you’ll be prepared when times get tough–before the junk food cravings hit.

Tools and toys

Of course, you could go all-in and try treadmill desks, but some research suggests these aren’t the best option. Convertible standing desks, which use an engine to move up and down, are also a hip, but pricey option. There are certainly more cost-effective tools, like medicine balls, or even just providing a variety of desk heights for employees to set up their laptops on.

Take it easy

Avoid exerting too much pressure on your employees to meet specific fitness goals. Everyone has unique body types and abilities. Competition may be a great incentive for some people, but for those who feel self-conscious about their athletic ability, it can actually be discouraging. Weight loss goals (Office Biggest Loser, anyone?) are a big no-no–way too much cultural baggage there.

Instead, make it clear that the aim is to find what combination of things makes your team feel and perform their best. Share articles about the links between movement and focus and creativity on office forums or boards.

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