Low-cost Workplace Wellness Strategies
It’s a new year and many companies are re-examining their wellness strategies for employees. Workplace wellness programs may not only increase employee morale but, if run effectively, can also reap a positive return on investment for employers.
We’ve included below some ideas for implementing positive changes to your wellness program for little or no cost.
- Provide healthy eating reminders to employees using posters, emails and intranet posts.
- Offer healthier food options in the vending machines and in the cafeteria, as well as at meetings, conferences and catered events.
- Ensure that on-site cafeterias follow healthy cooking practices and set nutritional standards that align with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
- Provide cookbooks and cooking classes for employees and their families.
- Offer locally grown fruits and vegetables at the workplace.
Physical Activity and Weight Management
- Allow access to on- and off-site gyms and recreational activities before, during and after work. Encourage and support participation in after-work recreational leagues.
- Provide incentives or reduced insurance costs for participation in physical activity or weight management or maintenance activities.
- Map out on-site trails or nearby walking routes and destinations. Host walk-and-talk meetings when it is nice outside.
- Provide bicycle racks in safe, convenient and accessible locations. Sponsor a “bike to work” day and reward employees who participate.
- Create activities that have strong social support systems like buddy or team physical activity goals or programs that involve co-workers and their families.
- Set up programs to encourage physical activity, such as pedometer walking challenges.
- Offer flexible work hours and breaks to allow for physical activity during the day.
- Post motivational signs at elevators and escalators to encourage stair usage.
- Encourage employees to map out their own biking or walking route to and from work.
- Provide or support physical activity events on-site or in the community.
General Health Education
- Have a wellness plan in place that addresses the purpose, nature, duration, resources required and expected results of a workplace wellness program.
- Promote and encourage employee participation in the physical activity, nutrition and weight management programs.
- Provide health education articles, handouts or fliers to employees.
- Create a committee that meets at least once a month to oversee your wellness program.
- Offer regular health education presentations on various physical activity, nutrition and wellness-related topics.
- Ask health associations, health care providers or public health agencies to offer free on-site education classes.
- Host a health fair as a kick-off event or as a celebration for completion of a wellness campaign.
- Conduct preventive wellness screenings for blood pressure, body mass index, blood cholesterol and blood sugar.
- Provide confidential health risk assessments.
- Offer on-site weight management or maintenance programs for employees.
- Add counseling for weight management or maintenance, nutrition, and physical activity as a benefit in health insurance contracts.