21 Summer Wellness Challenges for Your Employee Wellness Program

Posted by Robyn Whalen on Thu, Jun, 14, 2018

Thursday,  June 21st, marks the first day of summer! If you’re looking to spice up your workplace wellness initiatives for the summer months, you’ve come to the right place! Below are 21 wellness challenge ideas to keep employees motivated, engaged, and inspired to live a healthier lifestyle this season. 

Wellness Challenge Ideas

#1 Get your H20 challenge. Proper hydration is extremely important over the summer season. Warmer weather, increased physical activity, and more time spent in the sun can easily leave employees dehydrated – which can lead to a number of health consequences. Challenge employees to track their water intake for 30 days. 

#2 Pack your lunch challenge. A healthy lunch keeps employees energized and productive throughout the workday. While fast food can be quick and convenient over a lunch break, it’ll leave employees feeling sluggish. Challenge employees to bring their own packed lunch every day for three workweeks.

#3 Start a new summer hobby challenge. The summer months bring a great opportunity for employees to find a new hobby. Outdoor photography, kayaking, or hiking are some good examples. Challenge employees to start one new hobby this summer. 

#4 Fresh fruit challenge. Who doesn’t love fresh fruit this time of year? Challenge employees to eat at least three servings of fruit every day for six weeks. Encourage them to try new fruits as well. 

#5 PTO challenge. Employees need their vacation time. Using PTO helps prevent burnout and boosts emotional health. Challenge employees to use at least 10 hours of PTO over the summer season. 

#6 Gratitude challenge. There’s a lot to be thankful for over the summer. Challenge employees to express gratitude at work or write down something new that they are thankful for every day for six weeks. Feel free to check out our very own 30-day Gratitude Challenge here! 

#7 Help others challenge. Volunteering is an excellent summer activity that helps reduce stress and boost wellbeing. Challenge employees to spend at least 10 hours volunteering in the community over the summer. You can even take a work outing to volunteer together as a team! 

#8 Meditation challenge. The summertime can be stressful on employees. Trying to juggle family obligations as well as tight deadlines can take its toll. Help employees reduce stress by challenging them to take five minutes a day to meditate or practice a deep breathing technique. 

#9 Sit less challenge. Many Americans live a sedentary lifestyle. Sitting too much can have many damaging effects on your employees’ health. Challenge employees to sit less at work and use a standing desk for at least 30 minutes each day for six weeks. If you don’t have standing desks at your office, learn how to DIY it here! 

#10 Real food challenge. Highly processed foods wreak havoc on your employees’ diets. Overconsumption of foods like chips, donuts, or snack cakes can increase the risk of chronic disease, like obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. Challenge employees to replace one processed food with one real food each day for six weeks. 

PS. You can download our free toolkit for this challenge here! 

#11 Unplug challenge. Many of us could use a detox from the digital world – especially over the summer months! With so much going on, it’s important to learn how to feel present in the moment. Challenge employees to go at least one hour of their day without checking their phone or social media for six weeks.

#12 Bike to work challenge. Biking to work is great for both your employees’ health and the environment! Challenge employees to bike to work as often as they can throughout the summer months. The employee who bikes to work the most throughout the summer wins. 

#13 Get your Z’s challenge. Quality sleep is incredibly important to a healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, many employees forget just how important sleep is to their overall health and work performance. Challenge employees to record their sleeping habits for a month and aim for 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night.

#14 Get outside challenge. Spending time outdoors relieves stress and boosts mental wellbeing. Summer is the perfect time for your employees to rediscover nature! Challenge employees to spend at least 15 minutes outside every day of summer. 

#15 Summer strides challenge. Walking challenges are always a hit. They’re relatively easy and can help employees get their fitness routine back on track. Challenge employees to walk outside for at least 10 minutes for six weeks. Have them record their walks. The employee who walks outside the most wins!

#16 Outdoor activities challenge. Picnics, hiking, swimming… the summertime outdoor activity options are endless! Challenge employees to engage in at least one outdoor activity each week of summer.

#17 Take a lunch break challenge. We know that employees can be in a rush to get out the door as soon as it hits 5 p.m. over the summer season. However, it’s still important that employees take regular breaks throughout the day to stay on top of their work performance. Challenge employees to take a real lunch break every workday for six weeks.

#18 Healthy grill out challenge. This wellness challenge doubles as an office party! Host a healthy grill out and challenge employees to bring the best tasting, healthiest dish. The employee who brings in the best healthy dish wins a prize!

#19 Biking challenge. Biking is an excellent way to boost fitness while spending more time outside. Challenge employees to track their biking throughout the summer months. The employee who bikes the most miles throughout the summer wins! 

#20 Self-care challenge. Since summer schedules are usually a bit hectic, you should remind your employees how important self-care is to their health. Challenge employees to practice at least 15 minutes of self-care every day for six weeks. 

#21 “I am Healthy” 30-day challenge. This is one of our personal favorites! Start by asking your employees to take the #iamhealthy pledge. Employees will then be challenged to share a picture or post on social media every day for 30 days explaining how they are healthy. It’s a great way to help employees develop healthy habits. Check out the full wellness challenge here.

Wellness challenges are a fun way to rev-up your workplace wellness program this summer. What are some of your favorite ideas from this list? Let us know which challenges you would like to try in the comment section below! 

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Topics: Healthy Workplaces, Wellness at Work


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