January is a time when many people start focusing on their bodies, dropping the holiday pounds, and making resolutions to live healthier lives.
Companies also benefit from having healthy employees, as they take fewer sick days, they work more efficiently, and they use less medical benefits.
During the fall the agency I worked for had a Commit to Fit program, where we introduced to employees many of the parks located in Indianapolis, by having ‘walking outting’ every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday for 6 straight weeks. Participating was voluntary, and they could go as often as they chose. This was done to accomplish at least three goals: 1) to help employees lead active lives; 2) show off Indianapolis’ amazing park system; and 3) to bond with other co-workers.
This winter we are instituting healthy initiatives that are in-doors, such as aerobics and Zumba classes (taught by employees who have a passion for this), as well as team sports, like volleyball and kickball (purchasing supplies for these games are relatively inexpensive and a great way to establish camaraderie).
Anderson et al. (2009) conducted a literature review of employment programs offering health initiatives and their effects. They found that there are moderate effects from healthy initiative programs. So, if you’re considering getting your employees healthy in the new year, come up with some great winter health ideas–it just might help your waist line and your bottom line.