7 Budget-Friendly Wellness Programs

May 31, 2017

Having a wellness program is a great incentive for employees to strive to make better choices and live a healthier lifestyle. As top corporations create high-incentive wellness programs, you might think they require a major budget.

Health and wellness within your company don’t have to break the bank. There are plenty of options for low-cost, high incentive programs that will encourage employees to be low stress and highly active. Here are 7 low-cost tips to help you incorporate wellness at an affordable rate.

  1. Seventh Inning Stretch

While you won’t be taking your employees to a baseball game, you can have them stand up and stretch for a couple of minutes at the beginning, middle and end of each day. Announce the stretch time over the intercom and encourage employees to take a break and get their blood flowing by doing some simple stretches at their desks. Tip: consider playing music to move to during the time.
  1. “I like to move it, move it”

Create walking, running, zumba or even line dancing clubs that employees can take part in for thirty minutes once  a week during their lunch hours. Have different activities offered each day so employees have the opportunity to participate in one, or all of the varying activities. Tip: encourage employees to bring a healthy lunch to enjoy after this quick workout!
  1. Corporate Competition

Nothing is better at promoting a little movement than good, old-fashioned, healthy competition. Create a “field day”-esque event where different departments can compete against each other through fulfilling fun and unique challenges. This event is especially good during the summer months when employees would much rather be outside than sitting behind their computer screens. Tip: provide (or encourage employees to bring their own) healthy picnic lunches for after the competition
  1. Stairway to “well”

Create a competition with your employees by offering incentives to employees who decide to take the stairs rather than the elevators. Incentives can start out small (for a consistent week of taking the stairs) and increase as employees participate in a consistent month of stair use. Tip: to make the stairs more friendly, consider posting pictures or distance markers to encourage weary climbers.
  1. Fitbit Challenge

Offer to purchase Fitbits for your employees and split the cost.  As a follow up, submit challenges to them based on their Fitbit readings. Create challenges that are easy for everyone to successfully participate in.  For example, instead of requiring 20,000 steps, which some employees might easily reach on a daily basis, challenge employees to do 1,000 more steps than they normally do in a day. Tip: to help employees afford their Fitbit, offer to take five or ten dollars off their paychecks to pay for it over time.
  1. Potluck

Encourage employees to have a potluck of healthy snacks and foods once a month. Make sure they bring recipe cards to swap for what they really enjoyed eating. Have them figure out the nutritional value of the item they are bringing and display it in front of their dish. Tip: Have employees sign up for what dish to bring ahead of time to avoid doubled dishes or last minute, unhealthy purchased dishes.
  1. Squad Squat Challenge

Have employees create teams and at a designated time have the teams do squats, competing individually against members of the other teams. The employees would take turns doing squats for a designated time, and at the end of the rotation (or several rotations depending on the ability of your teams) tally the amount of squats did correctly by each member. Continue for a month and then treat your winning team to an activity celebration. Tip: Create levels of abilities to the competition to encourage employees who may struggle to participate against those that work out consistently.

These are all ideas that are pretty simple to integrate into the work place to encourage your employees to live a healthy lifestyle.