May is Global Employee Health and Fitness Month

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May 15, 2015

Did you know that May is Global Employee Health and Fitness Month? The initiative for 2015 is already underway but that doesn’t mean that you can’t find a way to incorporate it at your workplace (and if you work from home, you can do it with your virtual coworkers or family!).  The goal is to promote healthy activities, environments and lifestyles. Formerly known as the National Employee Health & Fitness Day (from 1989-2010), the observance has been extended through the entire month to help encourage long-lasting changes that improve the lives of people around the world.

Lunchtime Walks

One of the easiest things you can do is organize lunchtime walks. If everyone takes their break at the same time, it’s pretty straightforward – but if the groups are staggered make sure that everyone has at least one buddy who will walk with them around the office building after they have eaten lunch. It could be the start of a trend!

Off-Site Bike and Hike

It may take a little researching but most areas have some sort of biking and/or hiking trails nearby. Organize an evening or weekend excursion that doubles as a way to meet the fitness challenge and serve as a team-building exercise. Getting out in the open air can make even the most tenuous work relationships feel a little lighter.

Parking Lot Challenge

This seemingly simple challenge can be turned into something that lasts forever. Make a game of who is willing to park the farthest from the door in the parking lot. To up the ante, consider blocking off some of the closer spots (remember to leave Handicap spots, though!) and offer a prize to the person who consistently parks far away.

Healthy Breaktime

Set up “healthy break stations” around the office to make it easier for coworkers to make good choices when they take a few minutes away from their desk. Suggest that management supply fruits, vegetables and nuts in the break areas and have jump ropes on hand in case anyone wants to sneak in a little cardio. It’s amazing how much a little bit of effort can add up!

Garden Seed Exchange

Setting up a garden, both at work (if there is a great shared area) and at home is an easy way to make fresh produce more affordable and readily accessible. The added bonus is that gardening is regularly recognized as a therapeutic, stress-relieving activity. To help save on the costs of getting started, ask everyone to bring in seeds to share with each other in order to maximize variety without breaking the bank!

Has your workplace ever committed to a month of healthy living? If so, did it result in any long-lasting changes in your life?

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