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With those first sun-kissed days, summer beckons, tempting with endless possibilities. Is it any wonder the work-life balance begins tipping in favour of after-work hours? What then, if instead of pulling you away from your desk, summer-life started coming to the office? Rewrite summer slowdown by actively engaging employees to harness the season. Is this the month to start commuting by bike, take daily outdoor power walks to rejuvenate and spark creativity, or to begin preparing fresh and healthy lunches for work? Commit yourself and your employees to summer, and beyond, by setting and tracking goals.
One of my favourite features on my Fitbit is that it enables me to track my sleep. Though sometimes a daunting figure to check, every morning I look at how well I slept the night before and, not surprisingly, the less I slept the less productive I end up being that day. Sleep is a hugely important factor of overall well-being. Think about it for a moment, if you’re tired are you as likely to hit the gym or make a healthy homemade meal? Personally, if my Fitbit registers anything under 6 hours of sleep, I know I’ll be seeing more of Raul, my pizza delivery boy, that day than my sneakers, Hal and JoAnne (yes, I named my sneakers after the Body Break duo). (more…)
If you haven’t heard yet, March is nutrition month! We’re kicking it off here at Sprout by filling our kitchen with lots of healthy, energy-boosting foods that help us power through our workday. Take a peek into our cupboards to see the 6 foods we’re eating and why! (more…)
Love is in the air this week with Valentine’s Day wrapping up the workweek and the Family Day long weekend (in some Canadian provinces) upon us. We write a lot in this blog about ways to engage employees around wellness in the workplace, but what about being healthy at home?
Corporate wellness was born out of the fact that we spend the majority of our days at work with our colleagues. Sprout helps companies build a culture of health and wellness that encourages healthy choices in the context of the work day (and beyond): walking meetings, stand up desks, healthy food options in the lunch room, activity breaks, for example. This week, we wanted to share our personal tips and tricks to staying healthy with our loved ones and families. Here’s what some members of the Sprout team had to say about their healthy habits at home: (more…)
Despite overwhelming evidence and information available regarding what we can do to reduce both risk factors and the incidence of heart disease, statistics across the board remain high. For example:
90% of Canadians have at least one risk factor for heart disease or stroke (smoking, alcohol, physical inactivity, obesity, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, diabetes)
Someone dies from heart disease every 7 minutes
Heart disease and stroke costs the Canadian economy more than $20.9 billion every year in physician services, hospital costs, lost wages and decreased productivity (Heart and Stroke Foundation)
The good news is that lifestyle is the best defense against heart disease. It’s the way we eat, how much alcohol we consume, how much we exercise, how we deal with stressand the effects of environmental toxins that are the primary, underlying causes of heart disease. (more…)
It’s the end of January, and the Winter Olympians are in their final push in training, leading into the games. It’s an exciting time for all! January is also a time when we all are thinking about the year ahead and setting our goals to try to be the best that we can be!
In February, the Olympics will be top of mind for millions of sport fans and non-sport fans alike. Have you ever wondered what the athletes are really going through in their final preparation phase? Well, wonder no more! I’d like to share with you the inside scoop. I dusted off my old journal to see just what I was experiencing weeks before we headed to the summer games in Beijing. It was fun to travel down memory lane, but, more importantly, I think the information that I’d written may be useful in helping you to set your goals and to reach your targets (both personally and at work). (more…)
With 10 days to go until the opening ceremonies 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, we’ve been thinking about ways to bring Olympic fever into the office. We’re passing the torch and sharing these ideas for you to bring to your office.
1. Host an Opening Ceremonies (healthy) potluck lunch on Friday, February 7. Encourage your colleagues to represent a country of their choice and share a traditional dish from that country. In true Olympic spirit, your potluck can be a culinary celebration from around the world! And if your office is extra competitive, add in a voting element and a prize for the top dish! Invite members of the leadership team to be your panel of judges.
2. The Short and the Long Track – Celebrate speed skating with an office-friendly alternative by looking around for your own oval track. It could be within your floor plan or outside around the perimeter of your office building. Measure and map out your short and long track distances and get your coworkers moving! How many laps can the Marketing department do this week? Can Sales beat the record? Leverage the natural rivalries within your organization for the purposes of fun and fitness. This is where the challenges feature and activity tracker on Sprout come in handy to set the challenge parameters and track the results! No judging scandalsguaranteed!
Don’t let the cold weather keep you indoors. Bundle up and enjoy the fresh air, some natural vitamin D and rosy cheeks!
3. Let your true colours shine! Organize a wear-your-favourite-sports-jersey-to-work-day. For maximum participation, consider opening it up to jerseys of any sport, and let the football, baseball and soccer fans show their true colours, even though hockey is the only game that counts right now. Or for a simpler option, go for with a red and white day in support of Team Canada (or the colours of your country’s flag for our international readers!)
4. To the top!Take inspiration from the ski jumpersand organize a stair climbing competition (how do you think the jumpers get to the top before their jump?) Create a healthy competition between departments or teams and award bronze, silver and gold “medals” to the top 3 teams. A stair climbing challenge is a great opportunity to highlight the health benefits of taking the stairs and provide the extra motivation for people to break their elevator habit.
(Photo credit: www.ruralintelligence.com)
Our clients are getting excited for their customized Sprout to Sochi Olympics challenges to start in a couple of weeks. Our Wellness Champions Coach, and in-house Olympic bronze medalist, Tracy Cameron sent out this call to action to take the challenge and channel your inner Olympian.
Leveraging the Sprout platform, our clients have the ability to create challenges between teams, post inspiring messages, keep an eye on the competition with Leaderboards and celebrate the results. Team building, engagement, and workplace fun rolled into one great challenge. Talk about a gold medal in workplace wellness!
LauraJackman is a long-time Account Manager with Sprout. She finds chopping vegetables and cooking to be therapeutic. Quinoa, cilantro and avocado are a few of her go-to ingredients. She likes to walk, run, and is a master at synchronized swimming.
We are almost reaching the end of January. A month that notoriously starts out with most people setting above all else, wellness related goals. Ironically, this commitment is already reaching rocky ground for many and for some, they have already dropped the ball on the great intentions they had just a few weeks ago.
How can you avoid this?
I can answer this with one word: PRIORITY. If you want to be healthier, happier, more creative and productive; if you want to achieve a corporate culture of health and wellness – then you absolutely have to make it a priority on all fronts.
Becoming healthier on a personal level is challenging, there is no debating that. If it is not a priority, results will be less than encouraging, no doubt about that either. Every possible distraction will serve as the perfect excuse as to why you could not bring a healthy lunch to work, take the stairs instead of the elevator, get up and move regularly during the day, drink more water etc. As many options as there are to create wellness, so too are the excuses why we don’t.
How do you make wellness at work a priority?
Consider anything within the context of your workday and organization that is non-negotiable. Maybe it is a weekly report to senior management, a daily inventory review, or monthly sales projections. Now adopt the same approach and mindset towards wellness initiatives. If you would absolutely, never, under any circumstance fail to deliver the weekly report to senior management then have that same attitude towards bringing a healthy lunch to work or taking the stairs, have that same discipline towards providing opportunities for and ensuring employees feel comfortable taking stretch breaks during the day and have that same commitment to identifying and acknowledging those that are engaging in health promoting activities and indirectly serving as role models for others
Corporate wellness initiatives typically compete against other priorities within an organization. Creating a culture with health and wellness embedded into the workday is the key to ensuring “wellness” isn’t just a project or annual program, but rather a way of doing business. This is easier than most think: provide water at all meetings, encourage walking meetings where possible, initiate stretch breaks during long meetings, set up a junk-food-free-zone, take time at lunch to go for a walk with colleagues, take the stairs instead of the elevator. This list is really only limited by priorities and creativity.
How can you ensure employee wellness is a priority within your organization?
Involve senior leadership, recruit like-minded colleagues and use an online wellness solution like Sprout to ensure engagement. It offers a complete, interactive, customizable, social, mobile solution that allows you to seamlessly manage and track all your wellness initiatives and communications. Employees can set goals, track activities, create events, join specific groups for support and encouragement, participate in and create challenges – all of which help to ensure wellness remains a priority in their lives and within your company.
Make employee wellness a priority for your organization and request a demotoday!
Lauren Jawno is a Health and Wellness Expert for Sprout, as well as an Account Manager. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Education, is a Holistic Nutritionist, Personal Trainer, Wellness Coach, Published Author and Speaker with over 15 years of professional experience. Lauren enjoys travelling reading and power-walking, but being an avid tennis player she is most in the zone when “crushing” tennis balls, winter and summer!
Sprout is in the process of moving to a new office next month. We’re excited for the New Year and a new office. We’re in the business of corporate wellness, promoting healthier and happier workplaces and this is our chance to share what we’re doing to maximize the health of our culture and engagement of our team. (more…)
Premiums have been offered to good drivers in the car insurance industry for years, this system is now being recreated in the health insurance industry. With millions of consumers worldwide utilizing fitness bands and health-tracking apps, insurance companies are utilizing the vast amount of data to reward more physically active customers – changing the way health insurance will be offered in years to come.
Much like insurance companies, employers of private, public, and government organizations are trying to curb the financial and productivity toll of an unhealthy and inactive work force. Utilizing a specifically designed platform Sprout offers a solution to improve employee health and as a result boost morale within the workplace.