4 Reasons to Participate in National Employee Wellness Month: The Surprise Benefits of Healthy Office Meals & Fitness Groups

Posted by on Monday, June 2nd, 2014 with 1 Comments

Today marks the kickoff of National Employee Wellness Month, with over 200 companies and organizations, from Delta Air Lines to Walgreens to Yale University, pledging their participation and support. Sponsored by Virgin Pulse, STOP Obesity Alliance, WorldatWork, and the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease, National Employee Wellness Month aims to provide structure and support for business leaders and owners to create wellness-minded company cultures and healthier, happier employees.

woman working with salad for lunch

Healthy office meals & wholesome snacks are an integral part of workplace wellness.
Image source: Flickr user Jo Guldi

Even if your workplace hasn’t officially signed up to be part of NEWM, there are plenty of resources and inspiration to be gleaned. And if you think that the only reason to promote employee wellness is to save on your healthcare costs, you may be in for a very pleasant surprise. Here are just a few of the benefits of participating in workplace wellness programs:

1) Building teamwork in the office

The centerpiece of NEWM are its nationwide challenges: last year, over 70,000 participants across the country wore fitness trackers and recorded their daily activities, promoting everyday movement and exercise as integral to wellness. One of the leaders of a winning company in last year’s NEWM challenge noted that the competition’s use of social media “provides the venue for team leadership, collaboration, and the ability to encourage colleagues you may have never met before to  ‘dig deep’ and push themselves.”

And that’s the key to employee wellness activities: they’re not only about losing weight or quitting smoking, as wonderful as those outcomes can be. Employee wellness can be a fantastic opportunity for team building and strengthening bonds in the workplace. Encouragement, support, and friendly competition can help coworkers meet their goals and strengthen relationships — even between those who might not otherwise often cross paths.

coworkers exercising at the office

Incorporate exercise into the daily office routine, and promote team building at the same time.
Image source: Flickr user Lindsay

2) Improving productivity

Healthier employees are more productive employees — period. The Center for Disease Control estimates that overweight and obese workers miss between two to five more days of work per year than normal-weight workers, with the average number of absences rising along with employees’ BMIs. And beyond physical effects like illness, employees who participate in wellness programs are more likely — three times more likely, according to one survey — to be engaged and satisfied with their work.

3) Attracting talent 

As part of NEWM, Virgin Pulse conducts a survey each year on workplace wellness. This year’s findings report that 87 percent of the employees surveyed believe wellness positively impacts their workplace’s culture… and 88 percent cite wellness programs as an important factor for identifying desirable employers.

healthy catering vegetables

Healthy catering at meetings promotes employee wellness.
Image source: Flickr user Ted Eytan

4) Showing support to employees

One of the most straightforward benefits of employee wellness programs is that it communicates a message of caring and support to employees. Most workers want access to wellness programs and perks on the job, with physical activity programs (72 percent) and healthy on-site food choices (66 percent) cited as the most desired wellness offerings. Responding to those needs helps reinforce the idea that your company doesn’t just care about the work being done, but about the people doing it — it’s just another way to demonstrate employee appreciation and build a collaborative relationship between employee and employer.  

take the stairs sign

Workplace wellness plans come in all shapes and sizes!
Image source: Flickr user Elliott Brown

And companies of all sizes, even those without the budgets for Google-like gourmet cafeterias or on-site gyms, can show support to their employees and a dedication to promoting healthy living within the office. Serving healthy office meals instead of fast food, stocking the vending machine with lower-calorie alternatives to sugary and salty snacks, or forming a lunch-break walking group or after-work softball team are just a few of the ways any office can start promoting wellness in the workplace.

June is the perfect time to launch (or re-introduce) your organization’s employee wellness plan… and with National Employee Wellness Month underway, you’ll find plenty of company in your efforts! And when it comes to serving healthy and wholesome meals and snacks, Waiter.com is already on your side! Take a look over our previous posts on ordering healthy takeout or hosting healthier meetings, and get some inspiration for your first wellness-friendly office meals of the month. With online ordering and prompt delivery, it’s never been easier to help employees eat healthy in the office!





When it comes to feeding employees and coworkers, make your company's food program really count! If your workplace dining plan needs to take it up a notch — or if you don't have one at all — Waiter.com is here to help. From Virtual Cafeteria Service to diverse menus to local takeout & deliveryWaiter.com offers customizable dining solutions for every business and budget. Contact us today to get started!

One response to “4 Reasons to Participate in National Employee Wellness Month: The Surprise Benefits of Healthy Office Meals & Fitness Groups”

  1. […] by to be part of the environment. While typical features for improving office culture might include workplace wellness programs, it’s the people themselves that make up the biggest environmental factor. Colleagues, […]