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The Right Fit: Fitness, Health, and Happiness at Work

From our Ideas+Buildings Blog

Every year in March, Perkins+Will spotlights and celebrates fitness in a big way. Each office sponsors activities and events to promote wellness through healthy eating and physical fitness. What started as a single Friday in March has expanded to a week full of fitness festivities.

Fitness Friday efforts are spearheaded by the Human Resources team with 100% support from firm and office leadership. In fact, our Managing Directors competed in a firmwide hula hoop contest for charity!


Seattle Managing Director Kay Kornovich takes a shot at hula hooping

This year, Perkins+Will employees showed off their skills in cooking demonstrations, Wii Fit competitions, recipe swaps, walking contests, ice skating, circuit training, yoga, and so much more. Local experts and companies gave out healthy smoothie and food samples as well as information on personal training services. But being healthy isn’t always about doing, doing, doing. Employees in many of our offices took time for relaxation with chair massages.

Just as important as relaxation is prevention. Perkins+Will works with clients every day to create inspiring, ergonomic, and healthy workplaces. We bring that same dedication to our employees. Our furniture vendors joined in the Fitness Friday fun by loaning us an array of ergonomic and movement-enhancing products: adjustable-height desks, the latest ergonomic office chair, and walking desks. We didn’t stop there. Our designers also created posters of exercises that we could do during breaks at work! 


Copy machine calisthenics, anyone? Fleshing out a regime of fitness while at work is easier than you may think.

For us at Perkins+Will, wellness is year-round, not just a passing thought during open enrollment season. That’s why we have Fitness Friday and why we offer a wellness rebate to our U.S. employees—a $150 Visa gift card for those who take steps to improve their health and well-being.

Need more proof of our commitment to wellness? One of our offices put together a video that depicts a day in the life of a Perkins+Will employee. Whether we run, bike, or walk, all of us find ways to keep in shape between kickoff meetings, lunch and learns, and happy hours. At Perkins+Will, we don’t just talk about wellness, we commit to it. And our employees are happy, happy, happy.

Happy Fitness Friday 2014 - Dallas Office from Perkins+Will on Vimeo.

Can other companies do this? Of course! There are many approaches that organizations can take to promote a culture of wellness in their offices:

  • Educate employees on their benefit plans, risks/benefits of lifestyle choices, etc.
  • Pass out pedometers and start a walking club during lunch
  • Ask caterers for healthier meal options
  • Offer incentives (e.g., gift cards or reduced premiums) for participation in wellness activities
  • Have quiet spaces where employees can take a break
  • Have a Fitness Day (Friday optional)!

It’s important to keep in mind that it doesn’t have to be a big time commitment or expense. Whatever an organization decides, it is imperative to have support from management and to supplement that with office champions encouraging these efforts. A little bit of fun goes a long way too.

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