While weight loss and smoking cessation are important components of wellness, there are many ways to make people healthy, happy and more productive. If your company has considered a wellness program, but has yet to jump in, you may want to test the water with a few easy-to-implement measures.
- Corporate Challenges – Nothing contributes to team spirit and fitness more than a company or department-wide sports or field day. Mention this idea to a few creative co-workers and they’ll love coming up with activities to hold a few times a year. Hopefully, each event will encourage a few more people to begin their own exercise program.
- Healthy Snacks – Instead of a vending machine stocked with soft drinks and other sugar-filled beverages, fill the fridge with water. While you’re at it, replace chips and candy bars with protein bars, nuts, granola and other healthier snacks.
- Fitness Funding – If your company is like most and lacks an on-premises fitness center, consider reimbursing employees for part of a gym membership (up to a reasonable maximum). To reward serious runners, think about reimbursing part of their 10K or half marathon entry fee.
- Step Counters – Whether you prefer a Fitbit, Jawbone or simple step counter, you may want to provide fitness tracking devices. Depending on the cost, payroll deductions can be offered to help people pay over time. Competitions with small rewards can be added to help people establish and achieve goals.
- Project Zero – As Thanksgiving and the holidays near, you may want to encourage everyone to avoid the traditional holiday weight gain. To roll out this contest, everyone weighs in on the first and last day of the holiday season – for example, November 15th and the first business day of the New Year. All those who make it through the holiday season without gaining any weight receive a prize – perhaps a branded apparel item.
- Biggest Loser – Programs that encourage weight loss can be effective and very popular. Two things to consider when establishing procedures are to share percentages of weight lost rather than actual weight and to avoid listing names of those who have gained weight, rather than losing, in contest updates.
While there can be many more parts to a successful wellness program, fitness certainly is always important. Anything that gets people moving and eating healthier can have a positive impact on the health of your employees and add energy to your workplace.