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Employee Wellness Strategies that Don’t Cost a Dime

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It’s the end of January – are you fit yet? Me neither. In fact, across the nation, the wave of new gym members has waned and the post-resolution blues have firmly set in for most of us. Rather than getting discouraged, my co-workers and I are together finding ways to build healthier choices into our daily work lives. I’m fortunate to work in one of three cities recognized nationwide by Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” initiative around community wellness, and this has made its impact on our workplace culture, too. Here are a few ways you can promote wellness in your team or organization, without spending a cent:

Share the fitness tracker craze – I am officially a Fitbit addict. My addiction dates back to December 2013, and in 2014 I walked more than 1400 miles, thanks to this little gadget and setting a monthly mileage goal with a friend. This year, many of my colleagues have Fitbits or other trackers, and it is fun to share the tallies of our miles walked. It also creates some healthy competition and motivates me to walk more.

Work short bits of exercise into your day – I’ve started to take a break each morning to walk for about 15 minutes with some colleagues. Together with a walk to lunch, and a short walk in the evening, I’m easily walking more than 4 miles per work day.   It’s easy and I find my daytime stress has become much more manageable.

Make healthy eating options a priority – Offices are filled with donuts, chocolate, and other yummies that sabotage our healthy resolutions. My city has made it a policy to always offer healthy alternatives along with the treats that come with special occasions. For example, donuts are always at our monthly employee meetings, but so are yogurt cups and fresh fruit. Our vending machines contain healthier options (like beef jerky and nuts) along with the usual offerings. The idea is not to force or mandate the healthier foods, but to provide the choice for those that want it.

Making these changes with my co-workers has paid off for me. My cholesterol levels are been cut in half, and I am feeling a lot better. Small changes really do make health differences, and they don’t take giant wellness programs or major expenditures to bring some big results.

Lori Sassoon is part of the GovLoop Featured Blogger program, where we feature blog posts by government voices from all across the country (and world!). To see more Featured Blogger posts, click here.

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