We all want to work for a company that cares about our health and wellbeing—both inside the office and out. But, that dated pamphlet about desk stretches and the fact that there are a few diet soda varieties in the break room fridge? Well, those efforts aren't quite cutting it.
Fortunately, there's something you can do to inspire your company to prioritize the wellness of their employees: Suggest a new program that you think should be implemented. Yes, it's as simple as that.
Need some inspiration? You're in luck. We've pulled together five awesome ideas for wellness initiatives that you'll actually want to participate in (don't worry—no desk stretches required).
Offer Workday Exercise Classes
The concept of taking a pause in the middle of your workday might seem counterproductive. However, studies show that brief breaks can actually re-energize you and improve your focus.
With that in mind, why not ask your company to institute some periodic workout classes for you and your co-workers?
Whether it's a mid-morning Zumba class or an afternoon running club, the opportunity to step away from your to-do list for a short sweat session will be good for both your mind and your body.
Organize a “Walk to Lunch" Day
What does your typical lunch “break" look like? If it involves inhaling a sandwich while parked at your desk or quickly eating that almost-expired yogurt in between meetings, it's time to change things up.
Pitch your boss or your company the idea of establishing a “walk to lunch" day. During one day each month (or week, quarter, whatever works best for your company), you and your colleagues can take a brisk walk to a restaurant or farmer's market nearby in order to enjoy some exercise and a meal together.
Perhaps it's a bonding activity for just you and your immediate team members. Or, maybe you want to open things up and use it as an opportunity to get people from across the company to interact with one another.
Regardless of the specifics, it's an awesome opportunity to work in some physical activity, social time, and a well-deserved lunch break!
Don't have lunch spots nearby? That's no excuse to stay cooped up in the office! Turn some of your meetings into walking meetings instead.
Institute "Meditation Monday"
The workday can get hectic, and sometimes maintaining your sanity requires you to take a few minutes to step away from the chaos and clear your head.
That's why it's worth seeing if your company would offer a weekly meditation session (of course, it doesn't have to be a Monday—but, we'll admit we like the alliteration).
All you need to do is reserve a somewhat secluded space within your office and then coordinate a time when people can use that room for a quiet break to re-center themselves.
Want to bring more structure to those meditation breaks? Your company could also explore having different experts come in and lead people through various mindfulness and breathing exercises. Add a yoga element to incorporate something physical and go beyond just mental fitness.
Start a Fitness Challenge
There's nothing quite like a little friendly competition in the office. And luckily, there are plenty of different fitness-related challenges your employer could implement to quite literally get your heart pumping.
These can range from something more long-term, like a step or stairs contest where everybody wears a fitness tracker, to something far simpler—such as seeing who can hold a wall sit the longest or even a weekly pushup competition.
Want to take things a step further? See if your company would be interested in starting an annual office-wide Olympics where you and your colleagues could compete in various games and activities to win prizes (which could be anything from a branded water bottle to extra vacation days).
Create an Office-Wide Cookbook
There's a lot that goes into overall employee health—there's physical, mental, and emotional wellness, for example. But, there's another important aspect: nutrition.
Do you always find yourself jealous of your desk mate's snacks or delicious lunches? Talk to your company about getting an office-wide cookbook started.
From snacks to full-blown meals, your employer can easily set up a system for interested employees to share their favorite healthy recipes, which can then be compiled into a cookbook for everyone to access.
Put that cookbook to use by doing away with those standard donuts and other sugary treats in the break room, and instead setup a recurring day when people can trade off bringing in a recipe from the healthy cookbook. You'll all enjoy some camaraderie and a delicious mid-day snack—without the guilt!
We know you want your employer to prioritize the wellbeing of you and your colleagues, but that doesn't mean you want to stick with those tired and cliché wellness programs. Fortunately, the options above are easy, fresh, and fun. Pitch any of these initiatives to your employer, and you're sure to promote wellness throughout the office in no time!
Photo of co-workers walking courtesy of Hero Images/Getty Images.
Kat is a Midwest-based freelance writer, covering topics related to careers, productivity, and the freelance life. In addition to The Muse, she's a contributor all over the web and dishes out research-backed advice for places like Atlassian, Trello, Toggl, Wrike, The Everygirl, FlexJobs, and more. She's also an Employment Advisor at a local college, and loves helping students prepare to thrive in careers (and lives!) they love. When she manages to escape from behind her computer screen, she's usually babying her two rescue mutts or continuing her search for the perfect taco. Say hi on Twitter @kat_boogaard or check out her website.More from this Author
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