We’ve all seen them—the article titles that make it sound so easy to fit in a good workout at the office. You know the ones I’m talking about: “15 Desk Exercises You Can Do At Work” and “Office Workout: Improve Your Health Without Leaving Your Chair!” and so on.
They sound great! Easy to do, right? But how many people actually read those articles and then implement them even once during their work week? I’m willing to hedge my bets—not many.
At Axosoft, we have always known that exercise is not only important for one’s health, but it can boost productivity, lower stress and help improve focus. More than five years ago, when our current office was under construction, we included a gym and showers in the blueprints, to encourage employees to work out.
The gym and showers were built, but after some time, it became apparent that not many employees were using the gym and something needed to be done to get people moving!
So, with some brainstorming and creative thinking, an initiative called AxoFit was created. It started in Fall of 2013 with just one personal trainer coming to the office a couple times a week, offering classes such as kickboxing, yoga, and bootcamp. The increased participation was immediate!
In the almost three years that have passed since AxoFit was implemented, we have grown the program to include more than five instructors and anywhere from six to ten different classes a week. Classes range from yoga, pilates, and barre, to Parking Lot Pump, where employees do bootcamp-like workouts in the parking lot.
Classes are offered in the morning, during lunch, and after work to accommodate the fluctuating schedules of the employees. Feedback is collected at least quarterly to make sure that the classes being offered are enjoyable and employees are actively participating.
We’ve used the classes to train for company-sponsored events such as the Spartan Race, Wild Canyon Games, and even a weekend Havasupai hiking trip. Currently, employee participation is at an all-time high and employees have even stepped up to offer their own classes, such as running club, during the cooler months or to fill in when a regular instructor unexpectedly cannot make it.
This shows us that not only are we dedicated to working out, but we are dedicated to teamwork and supporting one another as well. It has created friendly competitions among employees in the office, and I am pretty sure our own Kyle Smith still holds the record for the fastest run, beating out Axosoft Founder, Hamid Shojaee! (Kyle is also responsible for breaking the treadmill due to running at the max speed—there is no stopping him!)
So, at the end of the day, you can do as many desk neck rolls, leg extensions, and toe-taps as you want, but it won’t be nearly as fun or rewarding as participating in company-organized fitness classes with coworkers.
We continue to encourage our employees to maintain their health, boost their brain power, and be more productive at the office by working out in the office. We expect them to forget about work for those 45 minutes so when they are done, they can focus on the tasks at hand.
It’s a win-win for us all. Oh, and if that whole group workout thing doesn’t work for you, we still have the gym.
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