Physical Activity Implementation Guide
Boosting physical activity among adults with arthritis

Business and Industry

What Can You Do?

Because of their close ties to employees, business and industry can encourage positive physical activity behavior change in a supportive context of workplace policies and culture. By leveraging community resources and using health benefits incentives, business and industry also have an opportunity to reach families and the broader community.”[1]

Providing employees opportunities to be physically active can be as simple as identifying safe walking routes and encouraging their use or disseminating information on local fitness facilities and classes through worksite newsletters, employee orientation packets, and company web sites. Having a worksite wellness programs does not mean an employer has to establish an onsite exercise facility, although having one certainly makes physical activity opportunities and programmning easier. Worksite wellness programs may provide access or discounted membership rates to fitness facilities off-site or offer onsite fitness classes.

This Guide provides tips for a range of options that businesses of various sizes, types, and interests can consider to support physical activity among their employees. Tips are provided for employers with worksite wellness programs who want to meet the needs of people with arthritis. Additionally, strategies are provided for worksites that do not have formal programs but are interested in helping their workforce become more active.

A few tips—

Embrace  the mission of increasing physical activity for all employees, and then identify site-specific barriers for employees with arthritis.

Gather information from your employees on what they want, perhaps through surveys, focus groups, or worksite wellness committees. Getting their input and buy-in will help ensure their participation.

Consider physical activity in the context of a comprehensive wellness approach for all employees—along with tobacco cessation, nutrition, and healthy weight—and integrate it into worksite wellness goals and strategies.

Work through and with local business coalitions and chambers of commerce. You will learn what others are doing to increase physical activity and how you might collaborate.

Think broadly. Consider ways to offer onsite arthritis appropriate evidence-based physical activity interventions at your workplace or to encourage use of local community Y’s, fitness centers, walking paths, parks, etc.

Address the needs of all employees regardless of their physical limitations.

Ensure that settings and facilities where programs are offered are accessible and safe (and in compliance with applicable laws).

Encourage program facilitators to learn how to adapt exercises and programs to persons with disabilities and/or chronic pain conditions and become familiarized with adapted equipment for persons with disabilities and/or limited mobility.

Make sure that any worksite wellness program you implement complies with applicable disability and health privacy laws, such as ADA and HIPPA.

[1] Source: The National Physical Activity Plan

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