First came the free yoga classes and gym memberships. Then the nap rooms. Now some companies are encouraging their employees to exercise while they work.
Dairy Queen, best known for candy-infused ice cream Blizzards, has installed a bank of treadmill workstations at its Edina, Minn., corporate headquarters as part of a wellness program aimed to combat "sitting disease," the not-so-technical term for ailments associated with sitting at a computer all day.
"You can really accomplish a lot of work at the same time as walking," Heather Peters, a member of Dairy Queen's corporate wellness committee, told Minneapolis' KARE-TV. "And it really helps you get through those more tedious tasks."
According to Megan Weizel, manager of the wellness program, the company also is adding showers and locker rooms "so people can freshen up if they exercise on their lunch hour or bike into work"—in part to entice potential new employees.
"We're looking at not just these, but our whole wellness program as a recruitment tool," she said.
The American Heart Association recommends adults exercise for at least 30 minutes five days a week—so why not multitask, Weizel said.
Craig Bader, a Dairy Queen employee and one of the program's early adopters, said, "I feel like there's no interruption in the work that I'm doing so there's really no reason not to do it."