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Workplace Wellness Guide

Updated on September 30, 2013

Start a Workplace Wellness Program

We spend the majority of our waking hours at work, therefore the workplace is the perfect place to start to turn our attention to our overall health with a focus on preventing illness and staying well.

Half of all mortality in the U.S. is a result of changeable factors like smoking, poor diet, alcohol use, physical inactivity and careless accidents. Yet less than 5% of our total health care spending is spent on decreasing these risk factors.

Wellness programs are effective in engaging employees in their own health care choices and can be designed to encourage them to be proactive in improving their overall health.

Promoting workplace incentives and healthy lifestyle goals can be a catalyst to improve employee and their dependents health as well as a means to stabilize overall health care costs in the United States.


50 Great Wellness Ideas - Wellness Works!

In this series of books, the Wellness Councils of America offers some of the best worksite wellness programming ideas. These handbooks will equip worksite wellness practitioners with 50 great ideas for helping employees stay healthy with tried and true ideas that provide you with the necessary concepts to start your workplace health promotion initiative out on the right foot, or improve existing efforts. These books also provides you with checklists to rate your program's performance, helping you take ideas and translate them into reality.

Incentives Work!

Incentives Work!
Incentives Work!

Wellness Incentives to Encourage Employees

Basics, Goal Setting and Rewards

Appropriate employee incentives or rewards are determined by the difficulty of the task required.


Incentives can be monetary, like a cash reward or a reduced insurance deductible, material, like a health-related toy or freebie such as a pedometer, or intangible, like public recognition.


The goal of designing incentive programs or competitive activities is to stimulate employee participation. Make sure that the goal required to earn an incentive are realistic, achievable and can be chosen by each individual. Some may commit to a 10-pound weight loss, or to complete a 6 week smoking cessation class, or to attend two "brown-bag" lunch health lectures. Also be sure that all your incentive programs or activities are accessible to all employees and their dependents.

How To Start:

Start small and grow the program as employee participation increases. Initially, consider providing incentives for the completion of a single aspect of the basic program, such as filling out a health assessment questionnaire on-line. Over time, increase the number of programs and requirements needed to receive incentives. This allows employees to get used to the wellness initiatives.

Healthy Reward Ideas:

Offer free health-related items.

Providing free health-related items for participation or compliance with workplace activities can increase participation and retention rates.

Items should directly correspond to the individuals healthy behavior.

For example; an employee who walks a 5K, can be given a free pedometer to encourage future walking.

Offer free or special prices on gym memberships and physical activity classes.

Offer monetary rewards for participation or adherence to a disease management or a health improvement program.

Many people will change an unhealthy behavior or participate in wellness classes for a financial reward.

Monetary rewards can be contributions to health savings accounts or a reduction in insurance premiums. When using monetary rewards as an incentive, make sure that the reward matches the behavior change or task completed.

For example; a small change in behavior like walking 10,000 steps a day for a week, should receive a much smaller reward than a major behavioral change like quitting smoking.


Start Making Smart Choices Today!

Start Making Smart Choices Today!
Start Making Smart Choices Today!

Nutrition Education Posters - Post in The Breakroom!

Top 10 Ways To Be Active at Work

Print These and Post, Or E-mail to The Whole Office!

1. WEAR A PEDOMETER AT WORK. Since every step counts, wearing a pedometer is wonderful motivator to move more during your workday.

2. WALK AROUND THE OFFICE. There's no need to sit still while you talk on the phone or think. Pacing and fidgeting are physical activity.

3. WALK AROUND THE BUILDING. Sometimes a face-to-face talk is the best way to communicate (and it gets you up and moving around).

4. WALK UP (AND DOWN) THE STAIRS. If you have a choice, always take the stairs. If you have stairs, take as many trips up and down as possible.

5. WALK AROUND THE BLOCK. Got a coffee break? Got a few free minutes? Take a walk outside and get some fresh air (and extra steps).

6. WALK AND TALK. Need to discuss something with a co-worker? A walking meeting can be more productive and healthier too!

7. LIFT WEIGHTS WHILE YOU TALK. Keep a weight near the telephone; pick it up when you get a call and pump your arms while you talk.

8. TAKE A WEIGHT BREAK. Feeling tired and bogged down? Take five minutes to lift your hand weights and get your blood flowing.

9. WORK YOUR ABS. You can strengthen tummy muscles while sitting in a chair. Sit straight, tighten muscles and release. Repeat.

10. STRETCH YOUR STRESS AWAY. Stuck at your desk? Use a resistance band for a five minute stretch. Your mind and body will be more flexible. Tension in your shoulders, neck and back is easy to release with standing stretches and a resistance band.

Workplace Workout Ideas - Wallking, Pedometers, and Work Station Workouts

Exercise Fights Anxiety, Depression, Fatigue and Fat

We CAN Do Better!

We CAN Do Better!
We CAN Do Better!

Health and Safety Posters For the Workplace

Workplace Stress?

Workplace Stress?
Workplace Stress?

Work, Change and Stress - Stress Leads to Absenteeism

How to Reduce Workplace Conflict and Stress: How Leaders and Their Employees Can Protect Their Sanity and Productivity From Tension and Turf Wars
How to Reduce Workplace Conflict and Stress: How Leaders and Their Employees Can Protect Their Sanity and Productivity From Tension and Turf Wars

How to Reduce Workplace Conflict and Stress will help executives, supervisors, and managers-and the people that work for them-protect pride, profit and productivity from these disabling emotions.


Your Thoughts or Ideas

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    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Nice lens, management needs to understand that workplace fitness and wellness may save money in the long run, however they need to fund the program for more than one project or one year. It's all about money.

    • OUTFOXprevention1 profile image

      OUTFOXprevention1 6 years ago

      I love this lens! So needed since we spend so much time in a single area while at work. I have witnessed and caught so many illnesses at work.

    • profile image

      ih8mycow 6 years ago

      Great lens. The workplace is such a complicated setting. The people around you can either make or break you (read: difficult co-workers). I've met one in my previous workplace and she's just rude. Since I'm not the most confrontational person out there, what I did is I sent her an anonymous email through this site called

    • did dany profile image

      did dany 6 years ago

      I think financial incentives are fundamental for western people. Asiatic people have a different culture, and understand the importance of well-being even at workplaces, without the need of incentives of any kind.

    • profile image

      infotechblog 6 years ago

      Great lense.. Thanks for share about this..

      Lifes Health Care

    • profile image

      yvonnehull 6 years ago

      Wonderful article, thanks for putting this together! This is obviously one great post. Thanks for the valuable information

      Health and Wellness Products and Services

    • profile image

      birch2 6 years ago

      Great info on worplace wellness, thanks for sharing!

      Best Regards,

      Weight Loss Tips

    • CanHealthInsure profile image

      CanHealthInsure 6 years ago

      I like the 10 ways to be active at work. Nice lens!

    • Krafick profile image

      Krafick 7 years ago

      Thank you for this great lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I like the quicky flash and powerpoint wellness program I just spotted on youtube.

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image

      MargoPArrowsmith 7 years ago

      Good way for people to bond and get healthy

    • profile image

      solidmanxyz 7 years ago

      Amazing information on how to obtain six pack abs. I'm really all about how to get abs now. So much so that i even created my own lens on it: six pack abs, thanks.

    • profile image

      WriterBuzz 7 years ago

      This is a great lens. Thanks for making it. Very informative. I gave you a thumbs up

      cause I like your lens.

    • pkmcruk profile image

      pkmcr 8 years ago from Cheshire UK

      A really excellent lens and Blessed by a Squid Angel :-)

    • Kate Phizackerl1 profile image

      Kate Phizackerl1 8 years ago

      Nicely done. Blessed.

    • ShaunaSmith LM profile image

      ShaunaSmith LM 8 years ago from Oklahoma City, OK

      Great lens!!! Would you consider linking to a small business resource that provides free online safety training courses for businesses with 100 or less to train??

    • profile image

      FitSteph 9 years ago

      Wow what a great hub. If anyone is looking for a workout plan This is one of my favorite health & fitness sites. It lets you track food, workouts, and calories!

    • profile image

      jamesanderson1346 9 years ago

      Very nice lens. It may be costly for small business. Read Health Articles

    • Gamganny profile image

      Gamganny 9 years ago

      Lots of information. Great lens Thanks

    • profile image

      Mishjayne 9 years ago

      Informative, witty and educational! Well done!

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image

      MargoPArrowsmith 9 years ago

      What?!? You mean to say that small business can afford to take care of its employees? What a concept!

      GREAT lens 5* for the lens and your forward thinking!!!

      Interesting, my security word, instead of one of those funny ones, is "change"

    • profile image

      ywperjjl 9 years ago

      I like this lens. It is very informative.

      Health Tips

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      Useful tips and ideas. Love the cartoons! :-)

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      i like the 12 Ways To Increase Physical Activity at Work. i should apply this so i can lessen stress i experienced:)

      5 stars!

    • profile image

      Pancakes 9 years ago

      Nice Lens! I like those cartoon images, they're funny =)

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      Great site!


    • The Homeopath profile image

      The Homeopath 9 years ago

      Well, you're preaching to the choir with me, but I enjoyed reading it still!