Workplace Fitness Challenges for Remote Teams

How to Build Workplace Fitness Challenges for Remote Teams [2024 Updated]


Do you want to keep your remote employees fit and healthy? Do you conduct workplace fitness challenges?

Fitness challenges can help your team achieve their fitness goals and build camaraderie along the way!

In this article, you’ll find the list of workplace fitness challenge ideas:

  1. Walking Challenge
  2. 7-Hours of Sleep Challenge
  3. 8-Glasses of Water Challenge
  4. 3-Minute Deep Breathing Challenge
  5. Healthy Meal Challenge
  6. Create a Push-up Challenge
  7. Daily Meditation Challenge

Why Should You Conduct Workplace Fitness Challenges?

Before we talk about workplace fitness challenge ideas, it’s important to ask why you should run company fitness challenges? Why should you offer them to remote employees?

Employees’ health and fitness equal free money for your organization.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 80% of American adults don’t get the recommended amount of exercise per week.

And the bad health of your employees can affect the productivity and long-term success of your organization.

The Harvard Business Review found that employers who invested in employee health and wellness initiatives saw a nearly 6-to-1 ROI. A number of surveys have proved that workplace fitness programs reduced an organization’s healthcare costs.

That’s some CRAZY ROI. 😲

Many studies have shown that wellness programs and office fitness challenges can improve employees’ health behaviors and show positive results.

High employee well-being is related to lower turnover. In a 2017 survey of employer-sponsored health plans in the United States, HR consultancy Mercer found that companies who do the most to promote wellbeing have lower turnover rates.

The RAND study showed some promising results from workplace wellness programs:

These statistics show that:

  • A fitness challenges program can build a culture of health in your organization.
  • And, these programs can form a strong team bonding.

Here are several reasons why incorporating fitness challenges into the workplace is beneficial:

  • Regular physical activity is associated with improved cardiovascular health, reduced risk of chronic diseases, and enhanced overall well-being.
  • Physical activity is linked to mental health benefits, including reduced stress, improved mood, and increased cognitive function.
  • Participating in challenges together fosters camaraderie, teamwork, and a sense of community.
  • Employees who engage in fitness challenges may experience increased energy levels and improved focus, leading to enhanced productivity.
  • Employees who prioritize their health are likely to experience fewer health-related issues, leading to reduced absenteeism.

It’s time to see some fun fitness challenge ideas for remote teams.

7 Fitness Challenge Ideas For Remote Teams

1. Walking Challenge

Walking challenges are the most popular, simple, and well-known fitness challenge when it comes to encouraging physical activity among remote employees. A number of researches have revealed the benefits of walking for employee wellbeing. People just don’t do enough of it while working from home.

Objective: To keep everyone fit and healthy while introducing some competitiveness

One-time or Regular: Regular

Tools required: A fitness tracking device

Participants: The whole team can take the challenge

Duration: However long you like (1 or 2 weeks)

Instructions: Ask your team to install the fitness tracking app on their phones (or workplace step challenge app) and set challenges. For example, who can do the most steps in a week? Create a leaderboard to track their performances and the employee who performs the best wins a prize! 🙂

At Springworks, we had a “Walking Challenge” and we rewarded the employee with the highest number of step count with a gift card.

2. 7-Hours of Sleep Challenge

According to a study by Harvard University, “a lack of adequate sleep can affect judgment, mood, ability to learn and retain information, and may increase the risk of serious accidents and injury.”

If you want a productive workforce, make sure your employees are getting enough sleep. And you can create a sleep-challenge at work.

Objective: To make sure your remote workers are catching consistent Zzzs

One-time or Regular: One time in a month

Tools required: Use the Sleep Cycle app

Participants: The whole team can take the challenge

Duration: However long you like (3 or 4 weeks)

Instructions: Give them access to a sleep tracking app. Then create a sleep challenge: can you get 7 hours of sleep for 21 days straight? And reward winners with cool prizes or gift cards!

3. 8-Glasses of Water Challenge

We all know drinking the right amount of water is important for our bodies. It helps maintain body fluids and protects organs and tissues. But sometimes it’s hard to keep a habit of drinking more water.

According to Harvard Health, healthy people should drink six-to-eight glasses of water. As an employer, you can help your employees form a habit of hydration. Create a drinking water challenge for your remote employees.

Objective: To make sure your remote workers are drinking enough water

One-time or Regular: One time in a month

Tools required: None

Participants: The whole team can take the challenge

Duration: However long you like (3 or 4 weeks)

Instructions: Create a 8-glasses of water challenge: Can you drink 8-glasses of water for 30 days straight? Invite employees to track how much water they drink in a day. The winners at the end of the month will get prizes like water bottles. 

4. 3-Minute Deep Breathing Challenge

Deep breathing exercises can have a positive effect on our state of mind, as well as improve our mental health. You can have a quick deep breathing challenge at work.

Objective: To reduce stress and improve the mental health of the remote team

One-time or Regular: Regular

Tools required: Zoom or any other video tool

Participants: The whole team can take the challenge

Duration: 3-minutes 

Instructions: Create a Zoom link and send it to participants. After people join the call, start the exercise: Inhale to a count of 4, hold your breath to a count of 4, exhale to a count of 4, wait at the very end of the exhale to a count of 4, and repeat.

Recommended Read: 35 Workplace Stress Statistics You Need to Know [2022]

5. Healthy Meal Challenge

Proper eating is an essential part of overall wellness. As an employer, you have to motivate your employees to eat better.

You can conduct a Healthy Meal Challenge for your remote workers.

Objective: To encourage employees to eat healthy food more

One-time or Regular: Once in a month

Tools required: None

Participants: The whole team can take the challenge

Duration: 4 weeks 

Instructions: Create a list of healthy eating activities. Allow employees to pick one thing from the challenge activities and have them commit to doing it for the next week. After a week, they need to report their successes and failures in the company channel or group. Then ask them to choose a new activity for the next week. Give points for activities employees complete.

6. Create a Push-up Challenge

Push-ups are our go-to exercise. It can help you sculpt and tone your body faster. Create a 30-day pushup challenge at your work. It’s good for health and the best part, it has nothing to do with work. 🙂

Objective: To build a healthier team while having fun!

One-time or Regular: Once in a month

Tools required: Slack (any other team messaging app) and Darebee

Participants: The whole team can take the challenge

Duration: 30-days

Instructions: Just send a simple message, “who’s up for a 30-day pushup challenge?” Create a dedicated Slack channel for this challenge and add the participants. And then ask each team member to post in the channel a video of them completing their daily pushups.

7. Daily Meditation Challenge

Mental well-being is an important part of an employee’s overall health because it impacts employees’ performance and productivity. And meditation is a great way to foster brain—and body—health.

You can conduct a daily 10-minute meditation challenge for employees.

Objective: To take care of remote employees’ mental health!

One-time or Regular: Regular

Tools required: A meditation app

Participants: The whole team can take the challenge

Duration: 10-minutes

Instructions: Ask employees to download a meditation app such as Headspace. After installing the app, find a guided meditation that lasts about 10 minutes.

💡 Tip: Trivia’s suite of games can help employees to take a break and have fun with their colleagues.

The Best Apps for a Remote Team Fitness Challenge

1. Stridekick

Stridekick connects to a variety of fitness trackers like fitbit, apple watch, Google fit, etc., so you can compete with your colleagues no matter which device they use. Don’t have a fitness tracker? You can also add your teammates, send messages, and follow each other’s activity stats.


2. My Virtual Mission

My Virtual Mission app will get your remote team moving and enable you to live your company’s health and wellness values. Simply set up a route between two parts of the world and then work towards completing this “mission” with each exercise session. Your employees can participate as individuals or in teams making it fun and engaging.

My virtual mission

3. Step Counter

Step Counter uses the built-in sensor to count your steps. No GPS tracking, so it can greatly save battery. It also tracks your burned calories, walking distance and time, etc. All this information will be clearly displayed in graphs. Just tap the start button, and it starts counting your steps.

Step counter

4. Sleep Cycle

Sleep Cycle tracks your sleeping patterns and wakes you up during your lightest sleep phase, without a conventional alarm clock. Waking up during light sleep feels like waking up naturally rested. 

Sleep cycle

5. Headspace

Headspace is meditation made simple, teaching you life-changing mindfulness skills in just a few minutes a day. You can listen to Headspace on the go and download sessions to use offline on your mobile and tablet. On your computer, you can play any session, any time.


How to Communicate Your Fitness Challenges and Get Maximum Participation

1. Allow Your Employees to Pick up the Challenge

If you want a successful remote fitness challenge, let your employees pick their preferred challenge and perform it. You can give your employees a list of challenges (that you want to include in your program) and ask which one they would like to schedule. This practice can increase the engagement and participation rate.

2. Announce the Challenge Frequently

Employees get inundated with notices and invitations. To avoid this situation and make your program successful, you’ll need to communicate early and often to let them know there is a challenge soon.

Before the challenge starts, employees receive emails, notifications in Slack channels, announcements in meetings, posters, and explanations of reward points they can get when they do participate.

3. Incentivize Participation

Let’s face the truth, getting remote workers to participate in a workplace wellness challenge is like wrestling an alligator at midnight. However, integrating cash and non-cash incentives can significantly increase participation rates. A study found that employees are 33 times more likely to get involved when there are financial incentives.

EngageWith, an employee recognition and rewards platform, allows you to create programs that are tied to rewards like gift cards, company swag, shopping deals, etc.

4. Make Participation Process Easy

Keep the process, participation, guidelines, and activities as simple and easy as possible. Create a hub, platform, or portal that’s intuitive to use and where they can even see how their colleagues are doing and share a common team leaderboard.

Gamify the whole program by creating badges that people unlock by hitting milestones. This will build healthy competition in the workplace.

5. Have Fun!

The beauty of fitness challenges is that when done right, they’re fun. They create team bonding and energize employees around physical wellness.

Your fitness programs should inspire, challenge, and encourage people to be healthier and happier. And remember, it needs to be changed if remote employees are not having fun.

Workplace Fitness Challenges FAQs

What are some good team fitness challenges for a remote team?

To combine a team-building exercise with the goal of having a healthy and fit organization, you can run fitness challenges for remote teams. Get inspiration from our 7 fitness challenge ideas and let your team know.

What are some team-building tips for creating a great culture for a remote team?

Virtual team-building activities build an emotional connection between remote workers and they can know more about each other. To get you started, we created a list of virtual team building activities.

How can you include remote employees in fitness challenges?

Here are some ways to make fitness challenges easy to implement and participate in:

– Allow employees to pick the challenge. 
– Make it easy to participate in the challenge.
– Make it fun! 
– Show them the rewards and prize money.
– Tell them the challenge rules clearly. 
– Managers and leaders should also be involved in these challenges.

Do you have any workplace fitness challenges for remote employees? Or you have any questions? Just drop your thoughts in the comments section below!

Want to take remote team building to the next level? Our Team building app Trivia helps teams forge stronger connections by enabling people to conduct team-building activities and playing fun games and feel more productive.

Originally published September 04, 2020 11:34 AM, updated Jan 23 2024

Pawan Kumar

I'm a Content Marketer at Springworks. I've been featured in many reputed publications and online magazines! I'm an avid reader and movie buff. Let's connect on Social Media.

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