Working on Wellness
A typical employee spends 40 hours a week at the office, probably at a desk behind a screen. We all know we should be getting up and moving throughout the day, not only for our physical well being but also for our mental health and productivity. It isn’t always that easy. Employers can play a role in encouraging wellness and physical activity at work.
GVLT is part of a coalition with Bozeman Health, Gallatin Health Department and other organizations that is addressing rising obesity rates and chronic illness in Gallatin County. Physical activity and good nutrition are the best prevention methods for these challenges. Our coalition has been partnering with businesses to promote workplace wellness initiatives that give employees the tools and encouragement they need to stay healthy.
We’ve seen local companies doing great things to promote health in their workplaces. We were inspired by the businesses who participated in the Summer Trails Challenge. West Paw employees had an internal office challenge and moved their personalized doggie cut-outs along a large trail map mounted on the office wall as they logged their miles. Stockman Bank had their branches compete against each other for miles.
Our friends at Wisetail and XY Planning Network participate in a program called Hot Laps. Employees are encouraged to ride their bikes, hike or run a series of ‘hot laps’ around the trail system which are tracked on the app Strava. When they complete a Hot Lap, the business donates to GVLT and the employee gets a voucher for a beer or coffee from a local brewery or shop.
Zoot Enterprises recently hosted a wellness fair for employees and invited health related organizations and businesses to host booths for employees to learn about their services.
Businesses of any size can do things to promote health at work. We’ve put together some tips for workplace wellness to get your team focused on health.
Workplace Wellness Ideas:
- Host a weekly team trail walk. GVLT is happy to provide maps or ideas for your walks. A group walk allows your staff to connect outside and get some much needed Vitamin D.
- Encourage your team to do walking meetings. The research shows that people are more creative when they’re walking. If your meeting doesn’t require a screen, hit the trail and talk it over outside.
- Create a challenge. You can ask employees to track hours or miles being active. Provide rewards for employees who reach a goal or win the challenge.
- Provide stipends for activity. Create a benefit that allows for gym memberships, fitness classes, or ski passes.
- Volunteer on the trails with your team. GVLT and other organizations use groups to help with trail maintenance. Your team will break a sweat, spend some quality time together, and make an impact with volunteering. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule.
- Create a sports team. Join a softball, kickball, or soccer rec. league and sponsor a team for your staff to play together.
- Provide healthy snacks. Skip the donuts and cookies. When providing your team with treats, think about healthy options like fruit or yogurt parfaits. You don’t have to skip the sugar entirely but provide options for employees who are trying to make healthy choices.
- Get your employees signed up for the Gallatin Wellbeing newsletter. Our coalition is producing monthly newsletters that include tips on staying physically active and eating well. Sometimes we just need reminders!
- Sponsor a CSA for the office. Community Supported Agriculture is a pre-pay service in partnership with a local farmer. You’ll get a weekly batch of fresh, local ingredients to inspire healthy eating and recipes. The CSA could rotate between staff. Check out Gallatin Valley Botanical or Farm Cart Foods.