Want to reward your employees for a successful quarter? Encourage them to really put in their best effort? Make them feel appreciated? You can do all of those things and also promote healthy habits. Here are 10 ideas of how to keep your employees healthy and happy:

Give Branded Reusable Water Bottles

Everyone knows how healthy it is to drink water, but most of us don't drink enough.  Encourage your team and promote company pride by giving everyone branded bottles and a good filtered water system to use to refill them. A bonus is that reusable bottles can help your company reduce waste from plastic bottles.

Have Healthy Potlucks

Eating a meal together lets your employees relax and get to know one another on a personal level. However, instead of loading up with favorite comfort foods, have everyone share their favorite healthy lunch foods.  Pick one day a month, like the second Tuesday, and post a sheet in the break room for people to sign up for what they will bring.

Lose Weight Together

Do some of your employees need to trim their waistlines? Dieting is easier with friends.  Your health plan may even have a program you can join together.  Set some goals for a certain amount of time. Have everyone track weight loss and give a plaque of appreciation for:

  • Most weight lost.
  • Achieving Optimal BMI.
  • Least cheating!
  • Best encourager of others.

Provide Healthy Snacks

Rather than stocking chips, cookies and candy in a vending machine, provide healthy options or suggest employees take turns bringing in their favorite good-for-you snacks. Better yet, provide free snacks like dried fruit, Kale chips, nuts, and protein bars.  Not only will everyone be happy about the free food, good snacks will help your employees control their weight, improve moods, boost energy levels and work at their peak. 

Hold a Healthy Recipe Contest

Let everyone bring in their favorite healthy recipe to try and have them provide the recipe for everyone else.  Let everyone vote for their favorite recipe and offer a plaque of appreciation for:

  • Best healthy snack.
  • Most flavorful main dish.
  • Dish using the most colorful vegetables.
  • Healthiest Salad. 

Have a Cooking Class

Everyone will have fun and be encouraged to make healthy eating a part of their lives if you bring in a chef or nutritionist to teach healthy recipes.  Or have your winners in the recipe contest teach everyone else how to cook their favorite meal.

Assess Ergonomics

Avoiding repetitive motion injuries can save on health care costs and keep your employees away from pain and surgery.  Consider having an ergonomic expert examine your office for ways to improve the way your workers sit or at least offer choices like:

  • Standing desks or adjustable height desks.
  • Keyboards that are designed to minimize carpal tunnel injury.
  • Chairs that reduce back strain.
  • Screens which minimize eye strain.

Publish Health and Wellness News

Giving your employees regular tips and ideas about healthy nutrition, fitness and lifestyle choices can help encourage conversation about these issues and promote good habits.  It isn't hard to find good ideas.  In fact, you can encourage your employees to send you the best articles they find, or check out websites like My Fitness Pal.

Run for Charity Together

Most communities have 5K or 10K runs or charity walks. Go as a group and to encourage their efforts, award a glass plaque of appreciation for:

  • Raising the most money for the charity.
  • Fastest time.
  • Most improved time.
  • Happiest runner.

Take Time For Recognition

Do you have someone who is always supporting the health goals of others? An employee who has achieved a significant health goal this year? Taking the time to congratulate them and awarding them with a plaque of recognition will not only contribute to their happiness but uplift the whole office environment.