Tuesday, April 25, 2017

20 Creative Spring & Summer Wellness Initiatives to Try




Birds chirping, sun shining, grass growing. It’s a great time of year for many reasons, and one of those is the ability to boost wellness program participation.

To help you leverage the power of better weather, we compiled a list of 20 great (and fun!) ways you can boost employees’ health & wellbeing this season:


1. Plant a work garden

Right now is a great time to start an office garden. Not only does it provide healthy eating until fall, but teaching more about gardening can inspire employees to do it at home. Check out these self watering water boxes for an effortless gardening option. What should you plant? Some great ideas include: lettuce, tomatoes, herbs, cucumbers, peppers.


2. Integrate wearables

If you haven’t already, warm weather is the perfect time to introduce wearables into your workplace. Not only do these devices give a visual impact to your culture with everyone sporting a new device, but it builds social connections, motivates employees to get more active, and helps them track their personal fitness goals. (Read more about the benefits of a wearables program here.)





Did you know we offer The Wellness Outlet?

It's a free of charge service to help you distribute discounted Fitbit & Garmin wearables to your employees. Check out their website to learn more, or click here to chat with one of our wellness strategists about setting up your storefront today!




3. Hold walking meetings

Take one of your weekly meetings outside. Another idea, if you aren’t big on walking for the whole meeting is to simply start the meeting with a 10-minute walk, then return to the office for the remainder of the time allotted.



4. Build an outdoor eating area

Not only does being outside increase mood and vitamin D intake, but having an inviting area to have lunch can create stronger social bonds between co-workers.



5. Host a monthly game day

If you’re location allows, host a day every month filled with outdoor games. Be sure to include things like bean bag toss, washers, horseshoes, potato sack races, kickball, etc. You could even take it a step further and create teams to compete for healthy prizes!



6. Offer an extra PTO day

Everyone wants a little more time off in the summer - leverage that with an extra PTO day or flextime as a wellness incentive.



7. Host a company picnic

This is a great way to show appreciation for your employees’ hard work. Consider boosting even more camaraderie by including families. To keep the focus on well-being it’s smart to include healthy eating options and fun ways to get active during the picnic.



8. Hold “Don’t drive to work” days

Encourage employees to add activity to their commute. Even those who aren’t close enough to walk or bike could get some more activity in walking to and from public transportation.



9. Sign up for a 5k

Pick a local 5k and ask employees to sign up together. Make and give t-shirts out to participants to further support company culture.



10. Join a summer volleyball, kickball, softball league

This is not only a fun way to connect with coworkers outside of work, it also helps those who participate get more physically active.



11. Create a visual, color-in race board

If don’t have a vendor platform, like myInertia, that highlights challenge leaderboards, we created an alternative method. Print out poster size charts that employees fill in every time they complete a health-related task. For example, divide employees into two teams, have each employee color in one line when they walk for at least 10 minutes straight. The first team to completely color in their side wins.



12. Make maps of nearby walking path routes

Do you have a walking trail nearby? Or sidewalks, city blocks? Create simple maps to show employees how many steps they will get walking to nearby spots. Also include times and distance so employees can plan for a quick 10-minute power walk, or a longer 30 minute lunch-break stroll.



13. Create a healthy scavenger hunt day

Ask employees to team up and compete in a healthy scavenger hunt. Consider taking it online and using a photo challenge scavenger hunt. Include things like, take a picture at the mile marker sign 2 miles from work. Or post a photo of your teams’ healthy lunch. Make sure to have them include a hashtag so you can track the progress and award the winners.



14. Ask for 2k more


If you have wearables you can challenge employees to get 2,000 more steps a day. This is a great initiative because it includes all activity spectrums, from the less active, to the avid runners, because everyone can benefit from adding in a little more oomph to their day.



15. Attend outdoor work out classes

There is just something better about exercising outdoors. Check out your local city website and park website to find outdoor yoga, boot camps, and more.



16. Offer farmers market fresh foods

Your local farmers market offers great varieties of fresh fruit and vegetables. Consider including them in your lunch room and letting employees know they can get these types of great produce at their local farmers’ market.



17. Provide community bikes

Purchase a few bikes for employees to check out to bike at lunch, or use after work. You can paint the bikes in your company colors to make it a smart, culture-focused concept. Be sure to include a basket so they can carry their lunch, or other valuables safely.



18. Start a rental equipment center

A unique concept we heard at the local WELCOA conference last year was from Kimberly Clark. They offer free rental service so employees can rent out bikes, kayaks, paddle boards, etc. to use to get active in ways that motivate them over the summer months.


19. Make a list of nearby restaurants and the healthy options you recommend they get there.

By offering a handy list of the healthy options available nearby, employees can be better equipped to make healthy eating decisions. A bonus idea is to include the walking distance and calories they would burn by walking/biking to said restaurant.


20. Get a volunteer group together

Spring and summer are a great time to volunteer in your local community. There’s yard clean up, planting trees, cleaning the downtown community, etc. Pick an initiative that resonates with your culture and encourage employees to attend by telling them the great benefits volunteering can offer, not only on their physical but mental health as well. (Read about the benefits here)


Did we miss any? We’d love to hear your summer and spring wellness ideas in the comment section below. Thank you!