“Misery loves company.” That’s the way the old saying goes, but must we be so cynical? Other, better things love company too. Like health and fitness. Notice how you’re less likely to cancel a trip to the gym when you’ve made plans with a workout buddy?
This brings us to your next mission: increase overall office wellness with manageable, yet effective activities.
Why’s this worth your time? First, a healthy office is a productive and responsive one. Ever try to roll out a new system to a bunch of sluggish, sniffling slugs? It makes a tricky task even more difficult. A sharp, energetic staff is more likely to roll with the punches and adapt quickly.
Second, (and this reason’s a bit more selfish) if those you interact with on a daily basis are examples of good health, you too will be more likely to adopt good-for-you habits. Imagine having an office FULL of workout buddies!
Now, we know office dwellers are creatures of habit. Your particular creatures may already be ultra-marathoners and whole foods gurus. Or, they could be more of the coach potato variety. No matter where your colleagues fall on the wellness spectrum, we have ideas for how you can get everyone involved in getting healthy.
For: fitness resisters, cynics, couch potatoes, and fast food junkies
Activity: “Meatless Mondays” or “Salad Tuesdays”
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On the quest for wellness, it’s important to remember that small changes add up to big results. An office-wide “Meatless Monday” campaign will encourage your colleagues to substitute one cold cut sandwich or takeout burger for a lighter, vegetarian lunch. Or, if subtracting something feels like a turn-off, try “Salad Tuesdays.” Carnivores can still get their fix while getting in their greens.
For: the fitness-curious, new year’s resolutioners and offices with a competitive streak
Activity: Office Fitness Contest
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Pick a metric or series of metrics. The easiest is body weight, but you can also consider things like cholesterol levels, waist measurements, and blood pressure. Competing individually works, but dividing your office into teams creates camaraderie and increases accountability. Set a start date, end date, and plenty of progress check-ins in-between. If your budget allows it, throw a healthy celebration at the conclusion of the contest (substitute a refreshing fruit salad for cupcakes) and award the winning team with massage gift certificates.
For: moderately fit cube-dwellers, generally healthy eaters, and the adventurous
Activity: Group Cleanse
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DISCLAIMER: OfficeNinjas DOES NOT recommend your entire office consume nothing but maple syrup and lemon juice for 30 days. That is a recipe for a sticky, citrus-scented, rage-filled disaster.
Cleanses needn’t be complete torture. You can, as a group, agree to cut out sugar and processed foods for a few weeks. Or, if you’re up for more of a challenge, check out Kris Carr’s 21-day “Adventure Cleanse” a vegan, high-raw eating plan that aims to restore the body’s alkalinity. Alternatively, The Whole Life Challenge encourages more of a Paleo-inspired diet. It also provides structure and guidance on exercise and work-life balance through a gamified online experience.
Feel free to warm up with Meatless Mondays in January and work towards an all-out vegan cleanse in June. Or modify one of these activities so that it’s better suited to your office’s particular vibe. The point is that you’ll be doing something to create a healthier environment for and your team.
Have you ever participated in a workplace wellness activity or challenge? Share what worked and what didn’t in the comments below.