May is workplace health and fitness month

This month employers are encouraged to help their employees improve their health and fitness. That’s good news, who wouldn’t appreciate the support of your employer?

Some of the suggestions to motivate employees are:

  • Give employees a fitness tracker
  • Create health challenges for employees
    • to get the most steps in a day/week/month
    • create after-hours basketball, softball, touch football, tennis – whatever or all of them – teams and play to win a championship
    • weekly fitness day by setting aside 30 minutes for employees to ride a bike, take a walk, participate in a Zumba class or some other physical activity of their choice.
    • weekly healthy lunch day to encourage members to bring a healthy lunch from home or to try a discounted healthy meal at the company cafeteria
  • Company garden
    • gardening is a great form of exercise
    • employees can enjoy the fresh and healthy produce
  • Provide employees with healthy recipes for quick and easy evening meals
  • Quarterly workshops to help employees learn effective skills to cope with stress

It would be great to work for a company that even offered a few of these ideas to its employees and even better if they did all of those things. It would really help improve the overall health and fitness of the people who work there.

Would it really make a difference or no difference at all?

The jury is out. Some reports call company wellness efforts a sham. Others report there is some success, but it can be compared to the “you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink,” adage. Success depends on the company culture.

Stopping for happy hour on the way home and filling up on buffalo wings and drinking a beer or 2 (or whatever your favorite adult beverage may be) and then going home to sit in front of a screen until you go to bed reverses your wellness efforts. Becoming fit needs to be as important all day, not just during your 8-hour workday.

Some employers do nothing to encourage employee fitness or wellness. You might work for such a company, but that shouldn’t stop you from making and reaching for your own personal health-related goals. It’s nice to have support from your employer, but you can do it without your company’s help.


Jackie Conn

About Jackie Conn

Jackie Conn is married and has four grown daughters and four grandchildren. She is a Weight Watchers success story. She's a weight loss expert with 25 years of experience guiding women and men to their weight-related goals. Her articles on weight management have been published in health, family and women's magazines. She has been a regular guest on Channel 5 WABI news, FOX network morning program Good Day Maine and 207 on WCSH.