6 Creative Ways to Exercise at Your Retail Job

by Katie Sawyer, 3 minutes read
HOME blog 6 creative ways to exercise at your retail job

When you have the opening shift at a supermarket or the closing shift at a hardware store, the last thing you probably want to do is head to a 24-hour gym for a grueling workout.

So why not save time — and money — by incorporating exercise into your job.

Busy shifts and up-and-down sales are a normal part of retail, but they don’t have to stand in the way of creating a healthier workplace. Both store managers and staff can find ways to be more physically active at work, even on busy days when it’s only possible to exercise in short bursts.

Read on for 6 creative ways to incorporate exercise into your retail job.

1. Gamify your step goal

It’s no secret that retail jobs involve a lot of walking. The average retail employee logs 14,600 steps in an 8-hour shift. That’s about five and a half miles. During the busy season (we’re looking at you, Black Friday), you might even get up to 20,000 steps.

Instead of just seeing who can get the most steps in the day, break the goal into mini-goals. Who can get the most before their lunch break? Pull out your old Dance Dance Revolution game and put it in the break room. See who can get the most steps during one game.

2. Use boxes as step platforms

Speaking of steps, work those glutes when you’re doing a one-two-step up routine. Use sturdy boxes as impromptu platforms and create short circuits for your teams to repeat. Or, if you have stairs, you can create circuits of stair repeats. Get the heart pumping, the blood flowing, and your team energized.

3. Sponsor fitness challenges

Create fitness challenges around a shared goal for your employees, such as performing 50 push-ups or jumping rope for two minutes. Log the names of employees who complete a challenge in front of a supervisor. Reward winners and random participants by creating a prize drawing for everyone who attempts the challenge.

4. Transform your breakroom into an exercise room

Managers are required to enforce breaks for their team. And while retailers can’t close for an hour so employees can do an aerobics class together, you can provide opportunities for staff to get their workout in during the break.

There are plenty of free or cheap online classes that can be done during a 30-minute break. Create a space in your breakroom for your team to opt-in to those fitness classes.

5. Reinvent the watercooler

Tell your team to fill their sustainable, reusable water bottles and join you for a little arm workout. Using your water bottle as weights, and a sturdy table, bench, or side rail as a balance bar, create short circuits that work your biceps, triceps, and delts. The larger the water bottle the heavier your weight — and the more you’ll stay hydrated throughout the day. Win-win.

6. Create a dance routine for opening and close

When you’re wrapping up for the night, throw on some tunes and dance it out. Who says you can’t have fun when you’re folding clothes, straightening up shelves, or setting the stock for the next day.

Groove your way to fitness when you incorporate dancing into your day. Maybe you could even challenge teams during other shifts to come up with a routine and have a dance-off.

Create a healthier (and happier) retail culture

Any improvements in exercise habits can be beneficial. Recent studies have debunked the myth that you have to exercise for at least 10 minutes to unlock health benefits. Instead, any short burst of moderate-to-vigorous activity at work or home can offer health benefits to retail staffers.

Just be mindful of workplace safety to keep your team injury-free. And if you want to keep your team happy year-round, sign up for a free trial of Deputy to see how to attract and retain staff.