Promote a Healthy Staff and Community During Global Employee Health & Fitness Month
Did you know that workers who eat healthy food are 25% more likely to have high job performance? And that absenteeism is 27% lower for employees who eat healthy and exercise regularly? Since May is Global Employee Health & Fitness Month, now is a great time for your library to both boost its own staff’s productivity as well as help the staffs of local businesses too.
Ways to Foster a Health-Conscious Environment at Work
Your staff spends a substantial amount of their time at work, so any wellness initiatives that you introduce have the potential to have quite an impact. Consider trying one of these ideas to get your library staff moving and having fun while doing it:
- Form a team of librarians to run or walk a local 5K. A time-bound goal will motivate your staff to stay focused on training. As an added bonus, you can boost your library’s visibility in your community by having your team wear library-branded shirts. Your community will see the library supporting a healthy lifestyle while also supporting community-wide events.
- Host a health challenge. Many of your employees may already have fitness trackers or can download a health app to their smartphones for easy activity tracking. Incentivize participation by offering prizes to the person or team that logs the most fitness hours each week throughout the month.
- Designate your break room as a healthy snack zone. Trips to the candy jars, pastry boxes, and vending machines add up, so remove these temptations to see what a difference it makes. You could even ask a local grocery store to donate fresh snack alternatives like fruits and vegetables so your staff has something nutritious to munch on.
- Offer pre- and post-work meditation sessions to start and end the day in a mindful way. You know how wild the day can get at your library. Help your staff members get in the right headspace to start work, and then wind down after it, with a short stretching exercise led by a volunteer yogi or fellow staff member.
How to Support Wellness Initiatives Beyond Your Library Staff
Like your library, many businesses are interested in helping their employees improve their health so that they’re happier and more productive at work. The problem is that these organizations don’t have the time or funds to start wellness programs from scratch. That’s where your library comes in! Since you’re an authoritative resource on information about any and all topics, you’re in a great position to fill this gap not just for your own staff but for the employees of businesses around you as well.
Try these ideas to establish your library as a health and fitness resource for local businesses:
- Host guest speakers. Invite local health leaders or well-known athletes to speak during “brown bag lunches” where community members bring their own lunch — or, better yet, partner with a local restaurant to provide free lunch as motivation to participate. Be sure to take flyers that promote the presentations to local businesses ahead of time so they can invite their employees to attend and that publicly thank your sponsors. If some of your local business have the space, take the presentation to them. Be sure to bring some leave-behind materials that showcase relevant resources and upcoming health programs your library offers.
- Take your collection on the road. Grab your health-focused books (or tablets with access to your digital health resources like the clinically proven brain training exercises of BrainHQ™) and head out to the break rooms of local offices. Explain the benefits of spending a few minutes stretching mental muscles with brain training exercises. This can be especially helpful for people whose jobs require quick decision-making skills, such as firefighters, police officers, truck drivers, or teachers.
- Develop a schedule of free clubs and classes. Cooking demonstrations by local chefs, introductory boxing classes by fitness trainers, healing sessions by Reiki masters — the possibilities are endless! Reach out to local health professionals to find volunteer session leaders, and then post your health program calendar in common spaces at local businesses.
- Facilitate do-at-home health activities. Who says wellness programming has to stay in the library or at the office? Create brain health activity bags that human resources departments can hand out to their employees, or offer a book-club-in-a-bag that gives business leaders everything they need to host monthly discussions of health-focused memoirs.
These ideas for creating a culture of wellness are just a start, and your community’s needs are unique, so be sure to reach out to local businesses to better understand their interests before you launch new programs. Find other ideas to help get you started in our “Create Health Programming That Makes a Difference” guide, which builds on these suggestions for librarians looking to launch health-focused programming.