Everyone loves summer, including your employees and clients. With warm weather, sunshine, and plants in bloom, what’s not to like? That’s why summer is the perfect time to ignite some new wellness initiatives for your organization and get your people moving!
1. Promote breaks as breaks
There’s a trend at a lot of organizations for employees to skip breaks (including lunch breaks) because they’re too busy, or to use their breaks as a time to check into social media, but the fact is that remaining sedentary for a full shift is doing real harm to their bodies. Promote break time as “break from screen” time; a time to unplug, tune-out, and revitalize.
2. Start walking challenges
There doesn’t have to be any super high-tech gadgets involved with walking challenges. You can use the clocks that are already around. Challenge your clients to walk for 30 minutes per day, and keep track in a simple spreadsheet. Or consider breaking your employees into groups and turning the walking challenge into team events.
3. Promote your local farmer
With green things springing up all over the place, there are great opportunities to teach your employees about what kind of food is in season, and what a serving size is. If you have access to your local farmers’ market, organizing a short trip with a group of employees may be all it takes for them to start making healthier food choices.
4. Grill out
If you want to take nutrition education to the next level, a company cookout can be just the thing! In addition to the traditional cookout fare of bratwursts, burgers and beans, you can provide some alternative choices like fresh pico de gallo salsa or grilled eggplant sandwiches. Some people will try them, some people will like them, and some people will start making better food decisions!
Along the lines of disturbing trends among workers is the fact that, across the US, employees only use 51% of their allotted vacation time. Vacation is an important time for people to unplug from their daily lives and relax, which ultimately makes them more productive in their working lives. Make sure your employees know that it’s not only Ok to take their vacations, but it’s important.
6. Get going with gadgets
If you work in a high-tech field, you probably work with a number of gadget lovers. By promoting step counters, heart rate monitors, and calorie counting apps as another high-tech lifehack, you’ll appease their electronic-loving nature, and help them off the couch and onto the path to wellness…
7. Take it outside
Three out of four Americans are deficient in vitamin D, according to a 2009 Archives of Internal Medicine study. This can be remedied by getting as little as 15 minutes in the sun every day. So next time you have a stand-up meeting or need to talk over a project with a coworker, take it outside to talk and get some vitamin D at the same time.
8. Trick them into exercising
Many formal and informal recreational sports leagues start up in the summer. Promote groups and leagues of low (kickball, disc golf), medium (volleyball, softball), and high (soccer, ultimate Frisbee, triathlon) intensity to involve all your employees. They think they’re join up to have fun and socialize, but you’re really sneaking in some exercise for them, too.
9. Remember to hydrate
Increased physical activity in the summer time means that you also need to drink more water. Remind your employees that they’re going to feel more energized, more alert, and better overall if they drink a minimum of 64 ounces of water per day.
10. Put me in, coach!
If you’re not already coaching your employees on their wellness, summer is a great time to start. They’ll have more opportunity for fitness and health changes, and will therefore be more likely to see results like weight loss, increased energy levels, and better mood. Once they see results, they’ll be more likely to come back to your coaching!