Don’t Sweat the Sweat

We’ve encouraged wellness programs (and even gyms) at the workplace several times, but one thing we’ve never covered is um … sweat. See, if you’re like us, you probably don’t like the idea of going to work sweaty. Or, getting sweaty over your lunch break and then having to return to your desk with sweat running down your back. Ewww.


Consider hosting a yoga class for your employees. Photo by

While some large organizations might offer employee shower areas, the small-to-mid-sized employer probably doesn’t have that luxury. Plus, some ladies out there who spend hours getting ready in the morning don’t really want to “undo” all of that through a 30 minute workout over lunch. As employee wellness becomes such a growing concern, how do you encourage your employees to get moving, yet not create a mountain of discomfort or pool of body odor?

While there’s not always an easy solution, here are some ideas we have on how to keep your employees moving … and smelling good. (If you know what we mean.)

1. Encourage Walk Breaks

You don’t have to be the employer who has a “team training” day for the office 5K, but you can encourage brisk walks over lunch breaks or during the afternoons. This is especially great if you have a nice outdoor area near your office. As an employer, you can offer suggestions to your employees and walking might be a good one. You could even do some sort of walking scavenger hunt through your office or building.

2. Take the Stairs Day

If you’re able, encourage a “take the stairs” day. If the whole office participates, the entire office will also be figuring out how to cover up their smell! So everyone’s in the same boat – it’s more fun!

3. Allow for Casual Dress

It’s been said that workout clothes can give you an edge when exercising. And while your employees may not be full-on exercising at work, their clothing can greatly impact their mobility. If your workplace allows, permitting employees to come to work dressed casually, or at least wear comfortable shoes, might encourage them to move around a bit more than they would in business or even business casual attire.

4. Bring in a Yoga Instructor

We’re not talking about the aerobics or even hot yoga instructors here, but you could encourage physical activity by offering a yoga class at work. Employees can learn some basic stretches and poses. While some may break a small sweat, yoga typically doesn’t give the same bucket-dropping sweat-a-thon as kickboxing or running. (Again – stick to basic yoga, not hot yoga.) It might be a fun way to get employees gathered and relieve some stress.

5. Offer Towels in the Restrooms

Even if you don’t have a shower, consider having towels in your restrooms for employees. Employees can use the towels to “wipe down” if they do get in a small workout over lunch. You could even go a step further and offer a small basket on the sink with deodorizers and neutralizers so the employees feel the freedom to “freshen up.” While hiring a laundry service or providing these items may seem costly at first, compare it to the cost of higher insurance premiums and you might find investing in ways to get your employees moving (and ultimately healthier) is worth it.

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