Move workplace wellness programs outside this summer!

An outdoor fitness day is a great way to promote workplace wellness in summer. Photo via calvaryftlphotography, Flickr

Workplace wellness programs lead to healthier, happier, more engaged and more productive employees. And that’s good for your business.

Summer is just the time to jumpstart your workplace wellness programs, since the season’s bounty provides plenty of opportunities to spark your employees’ enthusiasm. Companies nationwide are kicking off summer wellness programs, including Dean Health Plan, which last month launched its “Summer of Wellness” program.

During the program’s first week, Dean held activities including a healthy grilling demonstration, daily wellness walks, and an orientation for its Couch-to-5K training program. All were part of a community-wide Worksite Wellness Week in the Madison, Wis. region. Businesses and organizations across the region participated, led by the area’s Madison Region Economic Partnership.

There are plenty of ways you can foster workplace wellness this summer, and the Greatist health and fitness team lists examples in “The 44 Healthiest Companies to Work For in America”.  Read on to see some of our favorites!

Move It Outside

Greatist helps employees enjoy the outdoors, bond, and stay healthy through team activities such as Parkour, or free running.

Google has added more than 1,000 community bikes scattered around its Googleplex campus, along with a company garden employees can tend, to get fit while growing healthy food.

Smaller organizations can do similar things. Numi Organic Tea also purchased bikes that employees can check out and ride around Oakland, Calif.

Cleveland Clinic has a mission to “make the company your running buddy,” so to speak, forming running and walking groups for employees.

Keep It Fun

There’s no reason why workplace wellness shouldn’t be fun too! NerdFitness is a blog devoted to the topic, with posts such as “25 Ways to Exercise Without Realizing It.” Check it out and consider using some of the ideas, like holding a swing dancing class, or even LARPING, which the post defines as:

“Live Action Role Playing. Might seem silly to those on the outside, but to those playing, it’s an amazing adventure that reminds us how awesome our imaginations are.  Also, depending on the game, you could be wearing a heavy costume, swinging heavy weaponry, and running for your life!”

General Mills keeps it simple with Fitness Fridays, where employees bond over games like dodgeball.

From Farm to Table

To encourage healthy eating, give employee rewards such as gThankYou! Fruit and Vegetable Gift Certificates, schedule outings to a local farmer’s market, and enable employees to buy shares in a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) group that delivers produce at work. 

Health care company Kaiser Permanente makes it easy to make healthier food choices. All company cafeterias comply with the Partnership for a Healthier America’s guidelines. Its vending machines are filled with healthy options, and it offers more than 50 company-supported farmer’s markets.

Biotech firm Genentech also hosts farmers markets where employees can purchase local, organic produce.

Help Yourself by Helping Others

The best way to feel good about yourself is to help others, so some organizations help employees serve their communities. 

Microsoft matches employee donations to charities up to $15,000 and also donates $17 for every hour an employee volunteers.

Cleveland Clinic combines workplace wellness activities with community service. During periodic volunteer days, its employees work with Rebuilding Together, a leading nonprofit that provides home repairs and improvements to low-income homeowners.

Mix It Up

Whether your business is large or small, use the resources you have to offer a variety of workplace wellness activities this summer. From affordable, convenient gift certificates for healthy food, to elaborate formal fitness programs, to company swimming parties—or all of the above—take advantage of the season to build a healthier workforce.

Check out this fun infographic for your employee fitness bulletin board or break rooms to keep healthy habits front and center.
For more great tips and insights into building a vibrant culture of engagement happiness and wellness, be sure to download our free e-book“The Top 20 Employee Engagement Blogs You Should be Reading”.
DThe Top 20 Employee Engagement Blogs You Should Be Reading

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