As temperatures drop, so does employee engagement and energy. While the chill weather, slush, and snow are a treat for many, it is also the key reason for not exercising, indulging in processed and fast food, and changing sleep cycles. More importantly, the cold weather can hinder many individuals from achieving their health and wellbeing goals.
A few statistics about winter health and wellbeing reveal –
- Adults are 1.18 times more likely to lead a sedentary life in winters than in summers.
- Adults who regularly exercise are 43% less likely to acquire infections of the upper respiratory tract in winter.
- Almost 66% of employees estimate flu infections to cost an average company around $100,000 annually.
While the weather cannot be a reason that stops your employees from reaching their goals, it is important to motivate employees to get their health and wellbeing back on track. What can be a better way to motivate employees than introducing winter wellness challenges through their corporate wellness programs!
Here are some simple winter wellness challenge ideas that can be incorporated into your corporate wellness programs to motivate your employees to keep up with their health and wellbeing.
1. Get a Lot of Physical Activity
Exercising regularly and getting enough daily physical activity is vital for a healthy mind and body. However, the dark and dreary winters can make it easy to slouch and get lazy. Wellness challenge ideas that promote adequate physical activity can help employees keep up with their daily step count and movement. A few fun winter wellness challenge ideas for physical activity include –
- Snowman Building – Set a team challenge for your employees to get out into the snow with their scarves and gloves to build their team snowman. Offer rewards and prizes to the best snowman and teamwork to encourage them. While snowman building is a fun activity that encourages teamwork, it is also a good cardiovascular and strength-building activity.
- Ski Outing – Organize a safe ski outing for your employees in any national parks or ski trails. Studies show that skiing is a great endurance activity, and almost 40% of cross-country skiers are relatively fitter. Make sure the entire activity is safe for the employees.
- Indoor Fitness Sessions – While winter outdoors is magical, everyone may not feel the same. For such times, employers can include indoor fitness classes, yoga sessions, or exercising videos to the employees, encouraging them to get their physical activity, while staying indoors.
2. Organize Seasonal Produce-Based Food Month
Winters are often accompanied by the desire to indulge in fatty and heavier meals. Also, the chilliness makes it easy to choose quick cooking processed or canned foods. On the other hand, fresh winter seasonal produce is the best to incorporate health and taste into your meals.
- Offer gift cards or reimburse grocery shopping of fresh produce.
- Organize seasonal produce-based lunches with a theme for every week.
- Incentivize logging nutritional intake and add bonus points on completing the protein and fiber intake for the week.
- Arrange worksite or virtual cooking lessons with different cuisines using fresh seasonal produce.
3. Stay Socially Active
By being socially active, we definitely do not mean on social media. While the recent pandemic resulted in social isolation, the winters can also lead people to hibernate in their cozy homes. While this can seem relaxing at times, loneliness may impact mental wellbeing in the long run.
- Organize team lunches and wellness challenges to ensure proper interaction within the co-workers.
- Make sure your employees have a proper work-life balance to make time for their personal lives.
- Arrange one-on-one sessions with consultants or experts to guide your workforce about social wellbeing.
4. Do What Makes You Happy
As the saying goes, “Happy employees are healthy and productive“, employers must focus on ensuring their workforce is happy. When they are happy, it impacts their physical and mental wellbeing. And this genuine happiness can come from building a healthy workplace culture and giving them time outside work to have some ‘me time’.
- Encourage hobbies like gardening, painting, music, dancing, and others.
- Set up a library at the workplace to let your workforce have a reading break between work.
- Organize Hygge activity competitions for Christmas, New Year, and other days.
- Book massage or spa appointments for your workforce to make them feel good about themselves.
- Take an extra 30 minutes of a sleep if you need to make up for the longer winter nights. Make sure you are not sleep deprived.
In addition to these wellness challenge ideas, employers can include many other suitable winter wellbeing activities in their corporate wellness programs. Conducting employee engagement polls or pulse surveys can be an excellent way of seeking workforce opinion and feedback about the best-suited wellness challenges for holistic health.
Providing a wide array of wellness challenge ideas and activity options for the festive and holiday season can help in ensuring your employees stay active, engaged, happy, healthy, and productive – everything that reflects better workplace wellbeing and business growth.