7 ideas for Employee Health and Fitness Month
May is Employee Health and Fitness Month, an opportunity to get on board the wellness bandwagon with programs to keep your workers healthy. Get ideas and inspiration here.
Employee Health and Fitness Month is held annually to promote the benefits of a healthy lifestyle to employers and workers. According to the National Association for Health and Fitness (http://www.physicalfitness.org), workplace wellness programs benefit employ…ers by delivering enhanced employee productivity, reduced healthcare costs, less absenteeism, and lower injury and illness rates. Wellness initiatives help employees decrease stress levels, improve physical fitness, and boost well-being.
Consider these strategies for getting your workers on the path to better health.
•Make meetings healthier by serving fruit instead of donuts or bagels and providing physical activity breaks. If it’s a lunch meeting, consider a make-your-own salad bar.
•Identify a health and wellness champion. This is an individual who is passionate about health and who can generate excitement and engagement among coworkers.
•Make it your own. As you develop or tweak your wellness program, make sure it reflects your culture and employees. Choose activities geared to areas of need and interest like weight loss, smoking cessation, exercise, or healthy aging.
•See and be seen. Get your leadership involved. If workers know that the CEO is participating in a weekly walk around the campus or an on-site Weight Watchers® club, they may be more likely to sign up. Get your leaders to talk up health and wellness at every opportunity.
•Connect with community. Most communities have abundant resources to augment your program. Team up with a local chiropractor to teach stretching. Arrange for weekly on-site yoga instruction. Invite a local restaurant owner or greengrocer to do a cooking demonstration.
•Motivate people to move by permitting them to exercise during the workday if possible. Purchase a few treadmill desks and ask employees to sign up for a couple of hours at a time. It’s a way to gauge interest before making a large investment.
•Leverage the competitive spirit. Consider a changing, quarterly health promotion competition. Targets can include weight loss, activity, food substitutions, and gym visits. Support the initiative with information, motivational e-blasts, and fun prizes.
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