The following are 50 proven ideas for building a worksite wellness and heath program.
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- Share the information on this website with your employees. Take tips you like and create your own tip sheets, newsletter articles or e-mails.
- Set up displays in the reception area/lobby. Display health posters in employees' lunch/meeting rooms.
- Provide bulletin boards for a health information exchange and for people to write milestones they have achieved in health (i.e., New Year's resolution, miles walked, pounds lost).
- Announce and publicize a monthly health theme.
- Hold contests: employee/management and interdepartmental challenges, health trivia game on the computer with prizes to the winners, and other fun worksite competitions.
- Conduct recognition activities for employees making efforts at healthier lifestyles (i.e., bulletin board listings, healthy incentives, discounts to health clubs). Send employees personally signed letters from the CEO congratulating their healthy behaviors. Promote success stories/employee of the month. Recognize the coordinator of wellness activities.
- Promote smoke-free buildings/meeting rooms.
- Provide on-site smoking cessation programs.
- Encourage walking breaks instead of smoking breaks.
- Lower health insurance costs for nonsmokers.
- Provide health information focused around monthly or seasonal events (i.e., Great American Smoke Out).
- Reimburse employees for enrolling in smoking cessation programs and purchasing stop smoking aids.
- Participate in community walks (i.e., heart, cancer, March of Dimes). Sponsor employee participants or match employee contributions.
- Develop walking maps. Measure the distance in halls and around the building for setting walking goals.
- Offer flexible lunch periods/breaks to encourage individual, group or "buddy" walks.
- Offer incentives for distance parking and for employees who walk or bicycle to work.
- Promote a stair climbing competition.
- Encourage physical activity breaks during long meetings and conferences.
- Start a running club, biking club, in-line skaters club or line-dancing club.
- Encourage employer-sponsored youth athletic teams, along with employee volunteer coaches.
- Have a Goal of the Week or Month (i.e., I will exercise every day for a week). Keep a chart of weekly or monthly exercise goals in the office.
- Negotiate corporate discounts for health club memberships.
- Place physical fitness bulletin boards in strategic areas.
- Organize an employee exercise equipment swap.
- Ask vending machine company to add healthy foods.
- Develop a cookbook of employees' low-fat recipes.
- Hold recipe contests.
- Celebrate "free fruit day" — give away apples.
- Hold low-fat cooking demonstrations.
- Change a donut break to a bagel and low-fat topping break at meetings.
- Plan company functions with heart healthy eating choices in mind.
- Organize a support group for weight management. Sponsor company weight reduction programs.
- Offer information on packing healthy brown bag lunches.
- Hold employee luncheons. Encourage employees to bring crock pots of heart healthy soup to share with others.
- Put up food pyramid charts in break room/cafeteria areas.
- Have office water coolers readily available.
- Offer videos, books and brochures that can be borrowed and exchanged among employees
(Exercise and good nutrition are great stress-busters!)
- Create a wellness newsletter. Highlight healthy lifestyle success stories.
- Provide health information (i.e., fact sheets) for employees to take home. Insert health information in paychecks (payroll stuffers). Distribute safety information before long holiday weekends.
- Publish weekly health tips on internal e-mail.
- Encourage stress relief breaks (i.e., meditation, walking, close the door).
- Kick off "lunch and learn" programs. Use videos and guest speakers on various health topics at lunchtime. Urge employees to bring healthy brown bag lunches.
- Provide child care so that parents can participate in wellness activities.
- Have the company health practitioner set a time (weekly/monthly) to check blood pressures, body fat and weights.
- Provide flu shots at the worksite or make schedules of community clinics available.
- Provide one-on-one counseling for high-risk employees and people with disabilities by establishing wellness mentoring programs.
- Conduct surveys to assess what topics employees want to pursue.
- At meetings:
- Start with a stretch, and take a relaxation break in the middle.
- Conduct a wellness activity.
- Recognize an employee birthday or other special event.
- Vary meeting formats. Include surprises for good ideas.
- Allow staff members to occasionally lead a meeting.
- Provide information on back care (i.e., correct way to lift, stretch and exercise for strength).
- Conduct employee health fairs with wellness giveaways (i.e., gift certificates to farmers market, fruit stand).