Simple Ideas for Improving Employee Health

We’ve got some great ways to celebrate the fact that May is Global Employee Health and Fitness Month (GEHFM), an occasion created by two non-profit organizations, the National Association for Health and Fitness and ACTIVE Life. The goal is to use the month to make a deliberate push for improved wellness and healthy lifestyles through workplace activities.

Employers worldwide are invited to participate in GEHFM. Participation is facilitated by the event’s website, which allows participants to log-on and track their activities in three main categories throughout the month:

  • Healthy Moments: Occasions for healthy eating, physical activity or personal/environmental health. It can be something as simple as visiting the dentist, participating in an exercise class or quitting smoking. Little ideas that can make a big difference over time.
  • Healthy Groups: Formed to support healthy behavior that may be introduced during the month but then extended beyond May. This could include a corporate sports team, walking or cycling clubs or a healthy lunch or recipe exchange group.
  • The Culminating Project: This is a company supported event or project that promotes health throughout the whole organization or community. It’s a great way to end the month and establish a new commitment to health and wellness as a group.

Of course, those are the over-arching categories and some general ideas. What are some specific ideas you could implement?

  • Map out a walking path or route, whether it be outside or inside your office space. There’s always a restroom on the other side of the building that can add extra steps or employees can take the “long way” to the conference room before meetings. Parking in spots further from the door is another great tactic (that also minimizes the risk of your car getting dinged in high traffic areas).
  • Create a walking group to meet at a central point once a day or once a week for a quick 15-minute lunchtime walk.
  • Host standing or walking meetings when note taking isn’t a requirement. Consider investing in transitional desk platforms that allow you to adjust the height of your computer and work surface.
  • Post motivational signs near elevators to encourage employees to take stairs instead.
  • Provide pedometers to employees and encourage them to reach a certain number of steps per day or week. Have employees submit a photo each week of their pedometer reading and provide a raffle prize for anyone who achieved that week’s step goal.

In reality, any positive addition you make to support employee wellness will be important. MJ has worked with many clients to introduce the types of programming promoted by GEHRM. We’re eager to share what works, and even what doesn’t. You might also want to check out our library of wellness content. And if you’d like specific help with your own May GEHRM events (remember, they don’t have to be over-the-top to be effective), just reach out to your MJ wellness coordinator or email