Ways to Encourage Employee Health at Work

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Healthy employees benefit both their employers and the work environment. It’s important for employers to find ways to encourage employee health at work—here are some ideas.

Start a health program

Encourage your employees to stay healthy with a fun program. Choose a month to designate as “wellness month.” A fun way to get employees excited about wellness month is to host a kick-off day. Here are some great activity ideas for an employee wellness month kick-off day:

  • Goal charting: Have employees write down monthly health goals. For example: lose five pounds, eat more vegetables, work out twice a week, etc.
  • Start wellness clubs: Cover different interests and physical activity levels. Try starting a walking club for lunch breaks, a morning yoga club, or an after-work running club.
  • Provide a healthy lunch: On kick-off day, provide a healthy lunch for your employees. You can even provide a recipe so that they can recreate the lunch on their own.
  • Give creative goodies: Compression socks are known to be beneficial for office workers who spend the majority of their days sitting. Consider handing out low-level socks to encourage positive blood flow and to serve as a reminder to get up and walk around every so often. Water bottles are also great goodies to provide for employees to remind them to stay hydrated. 

Lead by example

A healthy workforce starts with healthy bosses. Make small changes to lead your employees by example. Stock the kitchen with healthy snacks to share with your employees. Join the office wellness clubs, and have the leadership team attend a variety of wellness events—this will encourage employees to attend. Communicate your own health goals with your employees and ask them to hold you accountable. People love a boss who’s willing to admit their triumphs and tragedies when it comes to workouts and healthy eating. 


During wellness month, try incentivizing your employees to make real changes in their lifestyles with contests and prizes. Some fun contest ideas include:

  • Weight loss competition: Go by percentage of weight lost—for example, this employee lost 2% of their body weight this month. This avoids broadcasting employee weights to the entire company. 
  • Physical contests: Push-up contests or a short race are fun ways to incite competitive spirit and encourage your employees to get moving. 

Give prizes for these competitions to give employees a reason to participate. Some good prizes include gym memberships, healthy snacks, passes for fitness classes, and gym bags.

Overall, there are many ways to encourage employee health. Gauge what’s best for your employees and your company, but remember to keep it fun and lighthearted. 

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