12 Office Fitness Challenge Ideas to Try with Your Team

Jul 20

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Whether you and your team are working from home or are back at the office, getting enough exercise in has always been difficult, especially for those whose jobs require them to sit at a desk most of the day. Incorporating some of these office fitness challenge ideas can help solve that problem.

In fact, according to the 2021 ParticipACTION report card, 82.8% of those engaged in resistance training before lockdown continued to do so. However, they found that people trained with lower effort felt less motivated, and the training was less effective and less enjoyable. They also reported they were “less likely to continue with their current training compared with pre-lockdown.”

This is likely because humans are social creatures. We greatly benefit from shared experiences.

Team fitness challenges are a great way to enhance a sense of togetherness while igniting people’s innate drive to be competitive. When used at work, fitness challenges can bring coworkers from different departments together, thus opening the door to building stronger connections in and outside of work. And not only that, but because you’re working out on a schedule, the goal is clear from the beginning – get to the end of the workplace fitness challenge!

However, to keep these ideas for company fitness challenges fun and engaging, you must give your employees the option to participate and not demand it. Allow your employees to decide for themselves. Those who decide to join will have more fun and get more out of it.

Giving out prizes for each challenge is greatly encouraged as it will incentivize participation while also allowing you to reward your employees for their hard work. Find a list of prize ideas at the bottom of the page!

Twelve Healthy Challenge Ideas For Work [+ Email Templates]

1. Virtual Yoga

No matter your job or position, yoga is one of the most accessible and effective exercises for reducing stress and clearing headspace.

Participating in a 60-minute virtual yoga session is a great way to ease into employee fitness challenges. All you need is a yoga mat, and there’s no limit to how many people can join.

If you’d like to try this corporate fitness challenge idea, here’s an email template to send to your employees.

Subject line: Calm Your Nerves And Relax Your Mind With Our Virtual Yoga Challenge!

On (INSERT DATE), we will be hosting a virtual yoga session at (INSERT LOCATION) that everyone is welcome to join. This challenge will teach mindfulness while improving your balance and clearing your mind. 

The rules for this challenge are simple. Those who participate and complete the challenge will earn 100 points. The only way to lose points is if your phone goes off/you check your phone (-20 points) or if you leave the session early (-30 points). 

Those who keep their score at 100 will earn (INSERT PRIZE), and those who keep their score between 70 and 99 will earn (INSERT PRIZE).

Please take your own fitness mat. Tennis or workout shoes are also required.

Please note that this is NOT mandatory, so only come if you want to.

🪷Try this 60-minute yoga session! 

2. Virtual Stretch Break

Great for those with a busy schedule, a 20-minute virtual Stretch Break challenge is a great way to relieve tension and give your body a break while engaging in enough activity to boost blood flow. Increasing your heart rate in this way is great for sparking new ideas and clearer thinking.

If you’d like to give this virtual Stretch Break challenge a try, here’s a template you can send to all your employees to keep them in the loop.

Subject line: Time To Take A Break With The Virtual Stretch Break Challenge!

On (INSERT DATE), we will be hosting a virtual stretch break session at (INSERT LOCATION) that everyone is welcome to join. Participating in this challenge will help you ease muscle tension and relieve stress by mindfully moving and stretching your body. 

The rules for this challenge are simple. Those who participate and complete the challenge will earn 100 points. The only way to lose points is if your phone goes off/you check your phone (-20 points) or if you leave the session early (-30 points). 

Those who keep their score at 100 will earn (INSERT PRIZE), and those who keep their score between 70 and 99 will earn (INSERT PRIZE).

Bonus: If you can touch your toes, you will get (INSERT SMALL PRIZE)!

Please bring flats or tennis shoes to wear for this challenge. In other words, no high heels.

Please note that this is NOT mandatory, so only come if you want to.

🐈 Thy this 20-minute Stretch Break challenge! 

3. Fix Your Posture Workshop

Sitting at a desk all day is a breeding ground for posture problems that can lead to back pain, neck pain, and headaches. Learning better posture techniques can help elevate aches and pains and improve overall health.

Stop slumping over your desk trying to write an email from scratch and let your employees know about this challenge using the template below!

Subject line: Get Ready To Ease Muscle Tension During The Fix Your Posture Workshop!

On (INSERT DATE), we will be hosting the 45-minute virtual workshop “Fix Your Posture” at (INSERT LOCATION). Everyone is welcome to join, especially those of you who spend a lot of time behind a desk. This workshop will teach you how to improve your posture to ease the aches and pains that come with sitting all day. 

The rules for this challenge are simple. Those who participate and complete the challenge will earn 100 points. The only way to lose points is if your phone goes off/you check your phone (-20 points) or if you leave the session early (-30 points). 

Those who keep their score at 100 will earn (INSERT PRIZE), and those who keep their score between 70 and 99 will earn (INSERT PRIZE).

There is no dress code for this challenge, but wearing something comfortable is advised.

Please note that this is NOT mandatory, so only come if you want to.

🧘Try this 45-minute Fix Your Posture workshop! 

4. Virtual Zumba

Zumba can be more intense than yoga but easier to learn. A workout inspired by dance, Zumba will get you and your employees moving while giving everyone a chance to show off their dancing abilities. 

Before you put on your dancing shoes, let your employees in on what’s happening with this template!

Subject line: Let’s Dance! Virtual Zumba Challenge!

On (INSERT DATE), we will be hosting a virtual Zumba session at (INSERT LOCATION) that everyone is welcome to join. This challenge will get your heart rate up and burn calories.

For those who aren’t aware, Zumba is a Latin dance-inspired workout exercise that will help you do cardio in a fun and exciting way! But don’t worry, this challenge is beginner friendly, so if dance isn’t your thing, you can still come and have fun.

The rules for this challenge are simple. Those who participate and complete the challenge will earn 100 points. The only way to lose points is if your phone goes off/you check your phone (-20 points) or if you leave the session early (-30 points).

Those who keep their score at 100 will earn (INSERT PRIZE), and those who keep their score between 70 and 99 will earn (INSERT PRIZE).

Please wear tennis or workout shoes for this challenge. Athletic wear such as leggings or shorts is also recommended.

Please note that this is NOT mandatory, so only come if you want to.

💃Try this 60-minute Zumba challenge! 

5. Virtual Functional Fitness Challenge

For a more traditional option, a virtual Functional Fitness challenge is the way to go. This challenge focuses on building muscle and cardio conditioning without messing with gym equipment.

Use the email template below for an easy way to inform your employees of the details of this challenge.

Subject line: Let’s Get Pumped Up During Our Virtual Functional Fitness Challenge!

On (INSERT DATE), we will be hosting a virtual Functional Fitness challenge at (INSERT LOCATION) that everyone is welcome to join. This challenge will focus on building and toning muscle and increasing cardio endurance. 

The rules for this challenge are simple. Those who participate and complete the challenge will earn 100 points. The only way to lose points is if your phone goes off/you check your phone (-20 points) or if you leave the session early (-30 points).
 
Those who keep their score at 100 will earn (INSERT PRIZE), and those who keep their score between 70 and 99 will earn (INSERT PRIZE).

Bonus: Those who can do more than 15 pushups will earn (INSERT SMALL PRIZE).

If you have a yoga or fitness mat, please feel free to bring it, but it is not required. Tennis or workout shoes, however, are required.

Please note that this is NOT mandatory, so only come if you want to.

💪Try this 45-minute Functional Company Fitness Challenge! 

6. Running Club

Getting your steps in between meetings isn’t easy. Incorporate a running club into your daily routine to get a head start. Running for 30 to 60 minutes every day has been shown to improve heart health, sleep, and catching a Runner’s High!

Let your employees know about this challenge by filling in and sending the template below. Then grab your running shoes!

Subject line: The Race Is On! Join The 5-Week Running Club Challenge!

On (INSERT DATE), we will start a Running club challenge at (INSERT LOCATION) that will run for five weeks, and everyone is welcome to join. Participating will help you burn calories, increase your cardio endurance and help you sleep better.

The rules for this challenge are simple. Those who participate and complete the challenge will earn 100 points. The only way to lose points is if you leave the sessions early (-25 points) or miss a session (-30 points). 

Those who keep their score at 100 will earn (INSERT PRIZE), and those who keep their score between 70 and 99 will earn (INSERT PRIZE).

Bonus: You can opt-in to be timed for a hundred hard dash beginning and end of the five weeks. Anyone who improves their time will earn (INSERT PRIZE).

Please wear appropriate clothing for running, including athletic leggings or shorts. Tennis or workout shoes are also required.

Please note that this is NOT mandatory, so only come if you want to.

🏃‍♂️Try this five-week-long Running Club challenge! 

7. Virtual Barre Challenge

A great option for those who love all kinds of low-impact, strength training workouts, the Barre Challenge combines ballet technics with different elements of Pilates and yoga.

Getting your team in one place isn’t always easy. Use the template below to let everyone know the date and time of this challenge!

Subject line: Come And Learn To Balance Like No One Else During The Virtual Barre Challenge!

On (INSERT DATE), we will be hosting a Barre workout challenge at (INSERT LOCATION) that everyone is welcome to join. For those who may not know, Barre is a low-impact workout focusing on strength training using elements from ballet, Pilates, and yoga. This exercise will help you tone existing muscles while improving your posture and burning calories.

The rules for this challenge are simple. Those who participate and complete the challenge will earn 100 points. The only way to lose points is if your phone goes off/you check your phone (-20 points) or if you leave the session early (-30 points). 

Those who keep their score at 100 will earn (INSERT PRIZE), and those who keep their score between 70 and 99 will earn (INSERT PRIZE).

Please wear athletic clothing for this challenge. Legging or shorts along with tennis or workout shoes are recommended.

Please note that this is NOT mandatory, so only come if you want to.

🩰Try this 60-minute Barre office workout challenge!

8. Virtual Stretch and Strengthen

A virtual Stretch and Strengthen challenge is an excellent way for you and your employees to start the workday. This challenge focuses on moving your body in ways that will ease tension and lower anxiety.

Save your energy for the challenge and use this template to pass the information to your employees.

Subject line: Get Ready To Have Fun With This Virtual Stretch and Strengthen Challenge!

On (INSERT DATE), we will be hosting a virtual Stretch and Strengthen workout challenge at (INSERT LOCATION) that everyone is welcome to join. This low-impact challenge will help ease muscle aches and lower anxiety by mindfully moving your body.

The rules for this challenge are simple. Those who participate and complete the challenge will earn 100 points. The only way to lose points is if your phone goes off/you check your phone (-20 points) or if you leave the session early (-30 points).

Those who keep their score at 100 will earn (INSERT PRIZE), and those who keep their score between 70 and 99 will earn (INSERT PRIZE).

Bonus: If you can touch your toes, you will get (INSERT SMALL PRIZE)!

This challenge has no dress code other than please don’t wear high heels. Flats or tennis shoes are recommended.

Please note that this is NOT mandatory, so only come if you want to.

🧘‍♂️Try this 60-minute Stretch and Strengthen challenge! 

9. Virtual Power Pilates

Another great low-impact exercise challenge, Power Pilates, focuses on building muscle strength. This workout challenge will boost your metabolism over time, increase flexibility and improve confidence as you learn what your body is capable of.

Writing emails from scratch is draining. Use the template below to spread the word about this challenge.

Subject line: Join The Virtual Power Pilates Challenge To Build Muscle And A Few Good Laughs!

On (INSERT DATE), we will be hosting a virtual Power Pilates challenge at (INSERT LOCATION) that everyone is welcome to join. Participating and giving this challenge your all will help you build your metabolism over time and build muscle strength. It will also boost your confidence as you put your mind and body to the test.

The rules for this challenge are simple. Those who participate and complete the challenge will earn 100 points. The only way to lose points is if your phone goes off/you check your phone (-20 points) or if you leave the session early (-30 points).
 
Those who keep their score at 100 will earn (INSERT PRIZE), and those who keep their score between 70 and 99 will earn (INSERT PRIZE).

Please wear comfortable athletic clothing for this challenge. Workout or tennis shoes are also required.

Please note that this is NOT mandatory, so only come if you want to.

🤸Try this Power Pilates challenge! 

10. There And Back Again Walking Challenge

Taking the time to walk every day is vital. If you’re looking for a fun way to encourage your team to get their steps in, try the There And Back Again Walking challenge!

Each employee can choose a real-life (or fictional) place they would like to “walk” to, then calculate how many miles it would take to travel there. For each mile, the participant must walk 2,000 steps. This works best if the challenge takes place over a week or so.

The less time you spend typing emails, the more time you can spend getting your steps in! Use the template below to invite your employees to join the There And Back Again Walking Challenge.

Subject line: Let’s Travel Far Away With The There And Back Again Walking Challenge!

On (INSERT DATE), we will start the There and Back Again Walking challenge, and everyone is welcome to join. This challenge will allow you to choose where you want to “walk” to and try to get there as quickly as possible. For each mile it would take you to get to your chosen place, you must walk 2,000 steps.
 
Thinking of your steps this way will help motivate you to get your steps in, thereby burning more calories and getting your heart rate up more frequently.
 
The rules for this challenge are simple. Those who participate and walk more than 15,000 steps (or 7.5 miles) in a week will earn (INSERT PRIZE). 

If you don’t already have a step tracker, here are a few free options to check out. All these work on your phone (iOS and Android), so a watch isn’t necessary: 
MapMyWalk
Fitbit 
GoogleFit 

For this challenge, please wear athletic clothing such as leggings, shorts, and workout shoes.

Please note that this is NOT mandatory, so only come if you want to.

11. The Conference Room Plank Challenge

While planks are the bane of most people’s existence, adding some competition can turn this exercise into something fun for everyone to participate in! Empty a conference room or any other room and see who can hold a plank the longest. If you have elderly employees or those with disabilities, allow them to participate on their knees rather than a full plank.

Before pulling chairs out of the conference room for this challenge, fill out and send the template below to encourage your employees to join you.

Subject line: No Meetings Today! Let’s Do The Conference Room Plank Challenge Instead!

On (INSERT DATE), we will hold the Conference Room Plank Challenge at (INSERT LOCATION), where we will see who can hold a plank the longest. Everyone is welcome to join. You can participate on your knees if holding a full plank isn’t an option.
 
Planks help build up and strengthen your core and spine, improving your posture. Plus, who doesn’t love some good, old fashion competition!
 
The rules for this challenge are simple. Those who hold a plank for more than 30 seconds will earn (INSERT PRIZE), those who hold it for longer than a minute will earn (INSERT PRIZE), and those who can hold it for more than two minutes earn (INSERT PRIZE).

All you will need for this challenge is comfortable clothing and workout shoes.

Please note that this is NOT mandatory, so only come if you want to.

12. No Phones Around The Block

Once a day for a week, you and your employees will walk around the block together, leaving your phones at the office. If you have a service-based business where the phones need answering, consider forming two groups that walk at different times. 

Before you put your phone down, send an email using the template below to encourage your employees to leave their desks and join you for some fresh air.

Subject line: Let’s Escape Our Ringing Phones With The “No Phones Around The Block Challenge”!

On (INSERT DATE), we will be starting the No Phones Around The Block Challenge, which everyone is welcome to join. Every day for a week, we will walk around the block, leaving our phones at the office. This will help you clear your mind by taking a step back from your work. It will also be an excellent opportunity to get to know everyone better!

If everyone enjoys this challenge and enough people decide to participate, we will consider integrating it into our schedule as a regular exercise.

This challenge has no dress code, though comfortable clothing is advised.

Please note that this is NOT mandatory, so only come if you want to.

Prize Ideas 🏅

Creating prize ideas that will motivate your employees to join in on challenges can be just as tricky as coming up with workplace fitness challenge ideas. To make this a bit easier, here are some of the best prizes your employees actually want.

  • Leave 15 minutes early
  • Extra paid time off
  • Music or podcast subscription
  • Office space re-do allowance 
  • Standing desk
  • Lunch or coffee delivery
  • Nap time!
  • Meal delivery for a week
  • $10 gift card to a local coffee shop

Conclusion

Helping your employees get away from their desks is one of the best gifts you can give. Most people want to exercise more but find it hard to find the time. Solve this problem by incorporating fitness into the workplace. In return, you’ll have happier employees, leading to a lower turnover rate, more satisfied customers, and fewer conflicts.

If you’d like to give any of the above corporate fitness challenge ideas a try or learn how Thriver can help you and your company achieve your fitness and wellness goals, reach out to us on our contact page or request a call here.

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