Employee health & well-being has attained a lot of significance in recent years, especially in India where recent studies have found an increasing prevalence of lifestyle diseases. Data suggests that 46% of the workforce in India suffers from some form of stress, 43% of the workforce have a skewed BMI (body mass index), of which 30% are with diabetic risk and 30% with hypertension risk.
Employers are now expected to create safe working environments, improve employee health and implement strategies that reduce healthcare costs. The health programs demonstrate to the employees that their well-being is very important and that the company knows and cares about them.
In this case, challenges are a great way to motivate people to adopt a healthier lifestyle as usually, people have a sense of achievement after completing a challenge and if their achievement is rewarded well, it could lead to a sustainable way of developing a habit. So, here are a few suggestions for some fun and engaging challenges that you can try at your workplace for a healthy and mindful working environment.
Walking is the basic physical aspect that anyone can start doing irrespective of age, so if you have a balanced workforce in terms of age, this can be a great way to kick-off the health challenges. Mobile devices or personal fitness bands can be used for measuring the number of steps that employees walk and incentives can be given to the top performers.
A weight-loss challenge is a great way to inculcate regular workouts and healthy eating at one go. Ideally, the challenge can last up to a span of 8-12 weeks. So, they should include regular weigh-ins and support for healthy eating and nutrition can be provided.
Mental wellness is the most important part of an employee’s overall health, and meditation is a great way to improve a person’s mindfulness and helps in managing stress. An in-office daily meditation session can be conducted and points can be awarded for participation.
It’s not necessary to elaborate on the health risks that are associated with smoking. Around 30% of the adults in India smoke and an estimated 120 million smokers are there in India as per WHO. So, a challenge to quit smoking can be one of the toughest ones to handle as there has to be a lot of motivation for smokers to quit smoking and a lot of resources have to be provided to sustain it.
You can start with a one month of quit/limited smoking challenge and reward the employees who take it to one month, three months, six months, and one year without smoking.
Sometimes, we all need those small nudges and support from our friends & family to get going with our healthy lifestyle practices. The team challenges can create a sense of community and motivate people to a common goal. You can initiate large group goals, such as “walk 5,000 kilometers” or “lose 25 kg” and offer a reward for the whole group.
The plank exercise works on the core muscles of the body and improves core strength. A one minute plank in a day challenge can be planned for 30 days with the first 10 days having a time interval of one minute and increasing it later every 10 days.
The push-ups or do-as-many sit-ups in a day challenge can be planned for 30 days with the first 10 days having a time interval of one minute and increasing it later every 10 days.
So, there go our suggestions on conducting health challenges at your organization, now it's your turn to get the plan into action and create the necessary impact on the health of your employees.
Read more on Top 10 Ways To Improve Employee Engagement.