National Employee Health and Fitness Month: What Is Your Company Doing to Celebrate?

National Employee Health and Fitness Day was celebrated yesterday, May 18. This was the 22nd year that the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness sponsored the day with the goal being to challenge businesses across the country to promote employee wellness activities. 

May is also National Employee Health and Fitness Month. Remember, building a culture of wellness at the workplace is not just crucial in the month of May – this must be an ongoing process that lasts a lifetime.

Healthier Means More Productive

A healthier workforce is a more productive and content workforce, not to mention the cost savings benefit for the employer. There are many working people in society and a lot of time is spent at work. With that being said, having a true culture of wellness becomes important for both the employees and the employer.

Check out with the Small Business Association of Michigan (SBAM) did last year – a walk to Seattle – to motivate employees to walk.

Incorporating workplace wellness does not have to be extreme. Companies like Arvco Containers and Rehmann Group have started showing employees that they care about their health by starting weight loss challenges, incorporating wellness coaching and running clubs, and advocating for regular physician visits.

Make It a Habit

Here are some ideas from the Governor’s Council for how to build a culture of wellness all year long:

  • Encourage employees to “take 10”—a 10-minute physical activity break during their workday
  • Organize a lunch hour walking club and offer incentives for employees who participate
  • Encourage employees to hand-deliver messages instead of using e-mail or voicemail
  • Offer healthy snacks at your next office meeting: provide un-buttered popcorn instead of a bag of potato chips. This is a great way to introduce healthy foods to your employees.
  • Send your employees a weekly wellness bulletin, or include healthy tips in your company’s internal newsletter
  • Identify healthy places to eat in close proximity to your workplace
  • Implement a mandatory stretching policy to loosen up your employees before starting the workday. Stretching and exercise can reduce the risk of lower back pain and other stress-related pain.

Recently, I started doing stretching at work.  At 55 minutes of every hour, I have a reminder/alarm that goes off telling me to get up and move around or stretch. It has helped my mood and productivity during my work day.

Does your employer help promote exercise, nutrition and an all around healthy lifestyle? I would love to hear any fun tips or ideas that you have.

Photo Credit: shawn2oo9

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