What is the CEO Pledge™?
The CEO Pledge is a national campaign promoted by the National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity (NCPPA) to encourage every CEO in the United States to recognize physical activity as an important driver of employee health and business performance.
Why is the CEO Pledge™ Important?
The CEO Pledge is an evidence-based strategy for promoting a culture of physical activity within an organization. Studies of employee wellness programs consistently find that executive leadership is critical to employee engagement. If employees believe that creating a culture of physical activity is an executive priority, employees are more likely to be physically active.
Why You Should Sign the CEO Pledge™
- Your Employees Will Be Healthier
- Your Employees Will Be Happier and More Engaged
- Your Organization Will Increase Productivity
- Your Organization Will Be Better Positioned to Recruit and Retain Top Talent
- Your Organization Will Be Publicly Recognized As A Forward-Thinking Employer and Thought Leader
CEOs who sign The CEO Pledge™ agree to implement at least six of the following strategies to create a culture of physical activity in their workplace(s). A mix of strategies from each category – behavioral, educational, and environmental/policy - is encouraged.
- Support “healthy meetings” such as stand-up or walking meetings, and/or meetings that incorporate stretching or other physical activity
- Offer a physical activity program that includes motivational elements to inspire employees, such as employee competitions, team challenges and recognition/rewards
- Establish a non-competitive physical activity program, such as a “buddy program” or exercise groups
- Sponsor employee teams in organized fun runs/walks
- Integrate other innovative and effective ideas to increase physical activity
- Provide education and information to employees about the benefits of an active lifestyle
- Invite experts to conduct regular information sessions in the workplace on physical activity-related topics
- Promote the health and productivity benefits of avoiding long periods of sedentary behavior (e.g. sitting at a desk for an extended period of time)
- Organize onsite fitness classes
- Reimburse employees for purchases of fitness equipment or physical activity-related programs
- Offer incentives for physical activity such as gift certificates for equipment and include such incentives in the employee benefit plan when appropriate
- Provide free or subsidized public transportation passes to encourage walking as part of a daily commute
- Give free or reduced rate memberships for bike share programs to encourage bikes as a form of transportation
- Increase the time allowed for lunch breaks or provide flexible scheduling to allow employees to be active during the workday
- Provide safe and clean facilities, such as showers, changing areas, and bike racks that support physical activity before, during, or after the workday
- Provide clean, safe, and attractive stairwells and encourage their use
- Create a map of indoor and/or outdoor walking paths that are safe, convenient, and easy to follow near the workplace
- Offer employees opportunities to wear casual, work-out-friendly attire to work
- Create an onsite fitness area or reimburse/subsidize the cost of an offsite fitness center membership
- Encourage employees to take brief activity breaks throughout the workday
- Provide employees with the option to use “active office” furniture such as stand-up or treadmill desks, and/or stability balls
Resources On Workplace Physical Activity
American Cancer Society
American Council on Exercise
American Heart Asssociation
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
The Community Guide on Physical Activity
California WIC Healthy Meeting Guidelines
Human Performance Institute
World Health Organization
"To promote health in the workplace, there must be consistent and visible support from leaders, beginning with the CEO,” points out Laurie Whitsel, the director of policy research at the American Heart Association (AHA), and president-emeritus of the NCPPA board of directors.
“Leadership is critical,” agrees Scott Goudeseune, the CEO of the American Council of Exercise (ACE), and president of the NCPPA’s board. “There must be clear, strong, and ongoing support, beginning with the CEO, for workplace health and wellness programs to take root.”
“This pledge may be just the catalyst required to make those work environments that encourage employees to become more active the new cultural norm,” says Helen Durkin, J.D., IHRSA’s executive vice president of global public policy.
Senior leaders supporting Johnson & Johnson CEO, Alex Gorsky, in signing the CEO Pledge at the Lake Nona Impact Forum 2013
Mary Salander, CEO of Everybody Wins! DC, poses with her staff after signing the CEO Pledge
CEO Pledge Signers: