Wellness is the complete integration of body, mind, and spirit – the realization that everything we do, think, feel, and believe has an effect on our state of well-being. – Greg Anderson
Corporate wellness has become the need of the hour. There is enough evidence proving its benefits for employers and employee wellness.
A few notable benefits at the workplace include –
- Higher employee engagement
- Better productivity
- Reduced healthcare costs
- Higher retention
- Lower absenteeism
- Reduced turnover
- Positive workplace culture
In short, healthy employees are happy and productive.
The Global Wellness Day creates a global awareness about the significance of leading a healthy lifestyle. From eating healthy, exercising regularly, sleeping well, stress management, financial savings, and other healthy habits – the Global Wellness Day emphasizes the need to build a harmonious relationship between the body and mind.
Employee wellness programs are a great approach to help the workforce build healthy habits.
Wellness challenges are a fun, friendly, and effective way to keep the workforce engaged and cultivate healthy habits. However, the wellness challenge ideas must align with the employee wellness needs and interests.
Here are 6 employee wellness challenge ideas that can be easily incorporated into the corporate wellbeing programs to embrace the Global Wellness Day at the workplace.
1. Nutrition Challenges
According to the WHO, a healthy diet is necessary for good health and wellness. A healthy and balanced diet consists of different food group varieties including carbohydrates, proteins, fats, fluids, and fiber, providing various essential nutrients to the body. Consuming a balanced diet regularly and staying hydrated adequately can reduce the risk of chronic diseases like cardiovascular conditions, cancer, diabetes, and obesity. It also improves focus and memory, reflecting activeness and better productivity at work.
- Eating breakfast daily
- Drinking 8 glasses of water daily
- Tracking daily food consumption
- Swapping junk with healthy options
- Revamping the office pantry with healthier snacks
- Weekly theme=based or team potlucks
2. Physical Activity Challenges
Regular exercise regulates oxygen supply to the entire body, improves muscle strength, and boosts overall endurance. Physical activity also keeps the lungs and cardiovascular system working efficiently, thus reducing any potential health risks of type-2 diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis, and other chronic conditions. Moreover, a fit and active lifestyle regulate sleep patterns.
Physical activity challenges and actionable ideas:
- 10,000 steps a day
- 30 minutes of physical activity a day
- Take the stairs, avoid the elevator
- Track your step count and activity log
- Virtual journey challenges
3. Emotional Wellness Challenges
Poor emotional or mental health can lead to stress, anxiety, depression, and other chronic health risks in the long run. The recent COVID-19 pandemic has affected the mental wellbeing of many individuals globally because of social isolation and burnout. Mental wellness programs can help employees deal with their stress, anxiety, and other mental health issues.
Emotional wellness challenges and actionable ideas:
- Expert consultation sessions
- Stress-management techniques
- Mindfulness challenges
- Yoga and meditation programs
- Counseling sessions
4. Behavior Change Challenges
Health-related behaviors have a huge impact on the overall wellbeing of people. Such behaviors can be the underlying cause of many lifestyle-related disorders. Behavior change strategies help adopt habits to achieve the set health and fitness goals. Also, it improves the overall quality of life. In addition to regular physical activity and healthy eating, the behavioral changes to be focused on include – smoking habits, alcohol consumption, tobacco use, and substance abuse. These habits can lead to cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes, and a few cancers.
Behavior change wellness challenges and actionable ideas:
- Smoking cessation programs
- Responsible drinking programs
- Physical activity programs
- Nutrition wellness challenge ideas
- Better sleep challenges
5. Sustainability Challenges
When people become conscious about their environment, they realize how it impacts their health and vice versa. Apart from the microenvironment, our macroenvironment is also related to our health and wellness. Clean air, food, water, and surroundings are important for our safety and wellbeing. So, building a sustainable environment is a way to boost our quality of life.
Sustainability wellness challenges and actionable ideas:
- Consume more plant-based foods
- Encourage DIY garden at home
- Install eco-friendly LED lights and save power
- Build an eco-friendly kitchen and home
- Reuse, recycle, and reduce challenges
6. Holistic Wellness Challenges
Many factors influence health and wellbeing, and all these aspects contribute to the holistic wellness of individuals. A few of these holistic wellness dimensions include –
- Financial wellbeing
- Social wellness
- Cultural wellness
- Occupational wellbeing
- Spiritual health
All these dimensions influence overall health and wellbeing in some way or the other. For example, many employees work overtime or take up different jobs simultaneously to overcome their financial crunches. This can lead to burnout and mental stress, affecting overall health. Similarly, social isolation has caused loneliness and depression in many individuals.
Addressing these different holistic wellness dimensions can help improve overall employee health and wellbeing, reflecting better productivity and workplace wellness.
Holistic wellness challenges and actionable ideas:
- Financial wellness programs, incentives like premium discounts, and employee benefits like HSAs, FSAs, and others
- Team wellness challenges to promote social interaction
- Workshops and access to educational resources for intellectual growth
- Recognition and rewards for professional achievements
- Volunteering activities and events
Irrespective of how busy employees are, they must make time for health and wellness. Employee wellness programs are no longer just a workplace perk or benefit. It has now become an integral part of every workplace, and is a great way to promote employee health and wellness.
And the Global Wellness Day is a subtle reminder to take care of our health and wellbeing, and that of the people around us for a healthier world.