Promoting a Healthy Workplace During the Festive Holiday Season

For those trying to create a lifestyle focused on health and wellbeing, the holiday season can sometimes feel like a minefield. Holiday food is often considered synonymous with food that is rich, decadent, and unhealthy. The trend starts with the piles of Halloween candy employees’ children may bring home, continues into Thanksgiving with gravy-covered meals followed by pies, and carries on through the end of the year with holiday cookies and New Year’s parties.
 
Meanwhile, cold weather, shorter daylight hours, and busy schedules combine to a decrease in fitness activity. Between the unhealthy food and decreased activity, the holidays can be difficult for employees who are trying to stick to a fitness plan. Below are some suggestions for how your company can continue to promote health and wellness throughout the holiday season.
 

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Create Fitness Events with Holiday (or Seasonal) Themes
 
For many companies, the fall and winter seasons bring the opportunity for various holiday-themed parties and events. For a fun event that also promotes healthy living, these same holiday or seasonal themes can be applied to fitness events. For instance, your company might take a cue from cities around the country and hold your own version of a Thanksgiving-themed “turkey trot”, or organize a company field day with a seasonal theme or focus.
 
Provide Holiday Food Health Facts
 
When it comes to the traditional holiday spreads, whether at family gatherings or social events, much of the available food and drink options are high in fat, sugar and calories. However, there are healthier options available at many of these events; the problem lies in knowing what to grab and what to skip, and how much a serving of each choice really is. Providing employees with a “cheat sheet” as the holiday gathering season ramps up can help give them the information they need to make smarter choices that won’t derail their healthy eating efforts.
 
Share Healthy Seasonal Recipes
 
Employees may not have much say over the food served at the gatherings they attend, but they do have the ability to create healthier alternatives at home. Promoting a recipe-swapping event gives employees the opportunity to share their favorite healthy versions of seasonal favorite, and provides others with new ideas to try. You may even decide to take this a step further by holding a recipe contest, or by combining the submissions into a company cookbook.
 
Encourage Lunch Break ’Recess’
 
As the year draws to a close, shorter days mean less daylight hours before and after work for employees to take advantage of outdoor activities. Try encouraging your employees to take full advantage of their lunch breaks to sneak in a bit of extra exercise. You might suggest that they walk to local lunch restaurants instead of driving, or use any extra time to fit in workouts right inside the office. If possible, offering flexibility in break times can give employees a better opportunity to maintain their fitness efforts while getting the opportunity they need to eat a healthy lunch and enjoy some stress-relieving “down time”.
 
At Walkingspree, we provide superior corporate wellness solutions centered on the numerous benefits of our corporate walking program. Our customized health and fitness solutions combine advanced monitoring and tracking technology with the built-in-fun of motivating incentives, rewards, and social interactions for programs that result in high engagement, healthier employees, and positive ROI. To learn more about the significant benefits that your company and your employees can realize with our corporate walking program, contact Walkingspree today.

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