What are some creative and fun fitness tests for employees who are not fit?
We are just starting to spark employee wellness at our site. We have a lot of over weight, uninterested people who we are trying to motivate. We are having a kick off health fair and want to do some kind of fitness testing. We have the step test, plans to use hula hoops and balance discs, but looking for some more creativity.
Specific numbers aside, I’ll go ahead and assume that the vast majority of its attendees will be “overweight, uninterested people.” If your goals for this event include “trying to motivate” them and spark their interest in living healthier, I would say you’re on the right track by seeking out creative strategies.
Keep in mind that the ideas I’ve listed out for you below aren’t “textbook/clinical tests.” You’d be more than welcome to adapt them to what would work best for your site at its employees.
Let me know you thoughts on the following if you’ve got the time:
1. A scavenger hunt for objects/locations that can be used for fitness related endeavors (i.e. stairs for step ups/general cardio, railings to hold onto and do pushups against, long hallways to do lunges down, etc.)
2. Name that healthy meal (First, break them up into small groups of 4-5 people. Within the groups, have them HONESTLY write down the healthiest meal eaten in the last week. Group members talk briefly about what they wrote down and why they feel it’s healthy. Group members vote on which meal within their group was the healthiest and then present to all the other groups at the end. You could even stage this last part like a debate if you wanted to, assuming it wouldn’t cause things to get out of hand.)
3. Name that "exercise toy" (Participants are shown various pictures or real life examples of exercise toys/props - i.e. exercise tubes, dumbbells, balance discs, etc. Next, they have to either say what they're called AND demo/give an example of an exercise that can be done safely with that toy/prop, OR just give a demo/example of a way that prop can be used safely. You could have participants compete individually or in teams.)
Do my suggestions make sense? Are any of them viable options for your site and its employees?
obviously, you have to unite creativity and safety as you are dealing with the unfit.
I can think of excursion reach tests for arms and legs. If you do not have a grid, you could use cones. This will illustrate discrepancies between the right and left side of the body in a really tangible way.
Another test on the floor is to have the subject lie an a roller from head to tailbone and have them lift one leg and the other. They can first do this with hands on the floor and then try it with hands off. Creates endless giggles but also demonstrates that some work on core stabilization may be a good idea.
You can also have them walk a certain distance either on the treadmill or outdoors. You can give them a set distance to cover and time them or measure the distance they can cover in a set time. Another idea could be to do a wall-sit test. You can also ask the participants if they would like to sign up for a race sometime in the near future. They can compete either individually or as a team. This can help with building a team spirit and motivate those who are not willing to do it alone. You can also have a contest of how many steps each person takes every day for a month and have them sign up during the health fair event (it will require pedometers). These are just some ideas that might help you come up with something creative for your clients.
I hope this helps.
What about the Stork Test?
For instance I start new unfit clients on the wall, then they progress to the back of a counter or chair, then finally to the floor on their knees.
It may not be "fun" but it will show them a lot about their fitness level.
I measure all of my clients waist's also, not for vanity reasons but mostly for health risk factors.
Overweight people sometimes have shyness about exercising in group settings, particularly among work peers, possibly you can create some sort of privacy screen or room.
Something that people might be interested in is a fitness quiz. Have a few questions pertaining to fitness such as how many calories are in a pound, what weighs more: muscle or fat, etc. You can give a cheap prize to the person who answers the most right. Other test you can do is a single leg balance, seeing who can stay up on one leg the longest, plank test seeing who can hold the longest.