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Tips to promote wellness at work this summer

Posted June 12, 2013  |  written by  |  Promotions by Theme or Event, Tips and Trends from the Experts
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worksite wellness tips

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There have been few workplace movements quite so large and important in recent years as the rise of wellness programs. On part with green offices and sustainable practices, workplace wellness has become a major topic in offices across America. This June marks the fifth annual National Employee Wellness Month in the U.S., a 30-day event offering employers and business leaders the opportunity to engage with employees about their lifestyle choices – from nutrition to exercise, health screenings and on-the-job safety. The goal of National Employee Wellness Month is the same as every company’s: get employees happy, healthy and productive while lowering healthcare costs and creating a fun, dynamic workplace environment.

The event website is filled with useful info, including a challenge board where companies can pit themselves against one another in daily activity measured using pedometers. There are also wellness resources and personal stories and testimonies for workplace wellness.

You don’t need to compete in the official rankings in order to take advantage of the National Employee Wellness Month spirit! Consider getting your employees into gear with a variety of fun activities, training sessions, incentives and meetings. Consider just a few of these suggestions.

Worksite Wellness Tips That Work

  • Walk-a-thon and other sporting events. Everyone likes sports,  but getting them to actually participate can be tough. Consider starting a company softball team, especially if there are other businesses in the area that might want to join in. You can even encourage employees to take their lunch break to head out to the basketball courts and play a quick game. One of the most effective and time-proven wellness strategies is to organize a walk-a-thon. This kind of event is often done for charity, but if you drum it up as a health and wellness initiative, workers are sure to pay attention. Hand out custom pedometers to your employees so they can track their stats and report in with each other over the course of the month or several weeks.
  • Gym opportunities. Some folks are able to lace up their trainers and just go for a jog around the neighborhood. Others have treadmills in their homes. But most people prefer heading to the gym. Not only is it packed with weight-training equipment and high-tech cardio machines, there are personal trainers who can assist them with their weight-loss goals. Consider offering your employees free membership to a local gym. Chances are, you can get a reduced rate. If the cost isn’t feasible, why not use National Employee Wellness Month as an excuse to pay one month’s gym fee. If your employees get in the habit of going to the gym, they may be more than happy to pay their own membership fees. Why not give all those employees who sign on and break a sweat custom water bottles to show your support?
  • Health and nutrition seminars. People don’t like to be told what to eat – which is understandable, since everyone has their own tastes, likes and dislikes. You can make an effort to educate employees on what they’re eating or not eating, however. Have a nutritionist come in and discuss the benefits of certain food groups as well as the disadvantages of others. Discuss what makes for a well-rounded diet, especially for different lifestyles. Just as with the water bottles, you can get workers excited about attending with the promise of personalized lunch bags and other incentives. You’ll also want to hand out some nutrition literature, so they have info to take home with them.
  • Stress management discussions. Physical activity and diet aren’t the only two cornerstones of good health. As any employee can attest, work stress can be a real drain on wellness. Holding a stress management discussion where you take suggestions directly from employees is key. What could minimize their stress levels? How do they feel about the ergonomics of their work – from office chairs to on-the-job safety? You may also want to offer one-time yoga or meditation classes to help interested employees find alternative means of relaxing and letting off steam.
  • Incentives and prizes. Time after time, one of the most efficient ways to get employees active and involved is with incentives and prizes. Some companies are doing this in the form of bonuses for goal achievements, like smoking cessation or weight loss. Others are offering fun corporate prizes as wellness incentives. Use what works best for your company.

Share Your Tips for Worksite Health Promotions

Have you pioneered a workplace wellness program? We’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions!

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