Wellness Challenge Ideas


Competition is a natural by-product of the work environment. Typically, employees are competing for a higher position, more responsibility and, of course, that bonus or raise. One way to put that competitive nature to healthier use is to channel it into company competitions. To combine a team-building exercise with the goal of having a healthy and fit organization, you can run a fitness challenge. There are numerous ways to do this that make it easy to implement.

1. Show me the prize money.

Offer wellness challenges with big prize money for the workplace teams that can score the biggest weight loss or achieve certain metrics established by a company's corporate wellness program.

2. Miles to charity.

Reward your employees for signing up for Charity Miles where their running, walking, or biking can be turned into money for the charity of their choice. Have your company become a corporate sponsor so you can get involved in a worthy cause and "walk the talk" about the need to do social good in the community. You can also opt to provide another prize or reward from your company for the individual with the most miles (and money raised).

3. Reward acts of kindness.

Make doing kind things a competition. You may wonder what this has to do with fitness. Well, because part of being healthy is your mental and emotional well-being, doing kind things makes you and the person on the receiving end feel better. For example, every time you take a colleague to lunch or enjoy your break with them, take them on a lunch break walk or help them with something outside of work, like a move or chore, you earn points. Those with the most points in a designated period win some type of reward.

4. Healthy meal potluck contest.

Anyone can bring in donuts or order a pizza for lunch, but who can make the tastiest healthy meal options for the office potluck? Turn your next office potluck into a competition. You can make it a blind taste test where employees bring in their recipe with the nutritional information.

Whoever has the tastiest meal with the optimum nutrition wins a prize. Not only does it channel that streak of competitiveness, but it also helps employees understand that healthy eating can be easy and delicious. Be sure to share the recipes in a company email or post them on the file-sharing platform in the office.

5. Stair-climbing challenge.

If you work in an office building where there are the stairs, then you can encourage everyone to skip-out on the elevator.  Create different challenges where employees can use an easy app or FitBit to track their stair count. Then deliver prizes to the person who did the most steps overall or the one who did the most stairs in the shortest time of a day or week, or another variation.

But, get involved.

Don't just leave these challenges up to your employees. Get involved as company leader. Also, be sure that management teams also participate. Seeing you and the leadership take on your own fitness goals may be incentive enough to join in. Also, it shows just how much you care about their well-being.

Cynthia Williams