The best corporate wellness programs are holistic, blending elements of physical, mental, social, and financial health to improve employees’ lives – but it can prove challenging to implement fresh ideas and activities that truly benefit employees and yield positive ROI.

To help freshen up your program, we’re sharing 28 corporate wellness ideas and activities that are popular with employees and companies alike in 2024.

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Wellness Activities: Summary

PhysicalNutritionalMental & Emotional
1. Healthy Competitions
2. Employee Sports & Recreation Teams
3. Promote Local Health Events
4. Onsite Chair Massages
5. Onsite Fitness Classes
6. Health Coaching
7. Walking Meetings
8. Lunch & Learn Presentations
9. Nutritionist Consultations
10. Healthy Company Potlucks
11. Healthy Cooking Classes
12. Company Garden
13. Promote EAP Services
14. Wellness Content for Newsletters
15. Share Employee Success Stories
16. Employee Assessments or Surveys
17. Daily Meditation Breaks
18. Book, Film, or Podcast Group
19. Employee Volunteer Days
20. Creativity Classes
21. Happy Hour
22. Financial Consulting
23. Finance Resources
24. Wellness Reimbursements
25. Ergonomics Assessments
26. Health Screenings
27. Onsite Vaccinations
28. Telehealth & Nurse Hotline

TIP: These wellness activities can make your program better – if you are strategic in your approach. Each must be communicated effectively, tracked, and incentivized to yield the desired outcomes.


Physical Wellness Activities

1. Healthy Competitions

Encourage employees to divvy up into teams and compete in healthy, friendly competitions. Track progress, promote successes on leaderboards, highlight employees on a prominent “Wall of Fame,” and reward your team with prizes and recognition for their efforts. Ideas include:

  • Step challenges
  • Weight loss challenges
  • Sleep challenges
  • Hydration challenges
  • No alcohol challenges
  • Stair challenges (skip the elevator)

Learn more about how to build a workplace wellness challenge

RELATED: 50 Office Fitness Challenges

2. Employee Sports and Recreation Teams

Put together a team to participate in a corporate recreational league. Many employers want to represent their companies in some way that makes them feel proud, and athletics is a fun way to foster physical activity. 

  • Choose a popular sport that’s inclusive enough for most employees to participate in, such as softball, kickball, dodgeball, or pickleball
  • If there are no local corporate leagues, divide staff members into teams for a company tournament
  • Report results and standings on bulletin boards and in newsletters to encourage participation
  • Check out these tips to start your own office sports league
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3. Promote Local Health Events

Health events are held in virtually every town and city across the United States, but often, many people aren’t aware of them because they’re not well advertised. Thus, one corporate wellness idea is to encourage employees to participate in local health events such as mud runs, marathons, 5K races, and sports tournaments. 

  • Post flyers on break room walls and bulletin boards
  • List upcoming events in your employee newsletter
  • Offer employee incentives for participation
  • Find 5Ks and other races on RunGuides and Find A Race
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4. Onsite Chair Massages

This is one of our favorite (and most popular) employee wellness ideas. Chair massages are excellent wellness activities that offer physical and mental benefits, helping employees relax, destress, and sooth sore muscles associated with sitting at a desk or working in the field eight hours a day. 

  • Hire massage therapists to give chair massages
  • Purchase massage chairs and place them in a quiet area employees can visit on their breaks
  • You can also purchase massage guns for the office

RELATED: Unique Ways to Reduce Stress Levels in the Workplace

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5. Onsite Fitness Classes

Studies have shown that employees are far less stressed on the job after exercise, and onsite fitness classes are one way companies can demonstrate they truly care about their employees’ physical wellbeing. 

In fact, our clients consistently report that corporate exercise programs are among their employees’ favorite wellness activities. 

  • Offer instruction and encouragement to employees who are hesitant due to limited exercise and fitness experience
  • Make classes available before and after work for each shift
  • Save on instructor fees by providing gym equipment and guided workout app subscriptions
  • Alternatively, you can offer lunchtime yoga classes to incorporate fitness into the workday

RELATED: Corporate Fitness Programs that Lead the Pack

6. Health Coaching

Health coaching is something that more companies are starting to use as wellness activities to help manage employee physical and mental wellbeing. For many people, active coaching is more effective than reading articles or watching videos. 

Health coaches will teach your staff members how to make sustainable lifestyle choices with lifelong benefits. These choices could pertain to:

  • Fitness and exercise
  • Nutrition
  • Finances
  • Social life

RELATED: Top Corporate Health Coach Companies

7. Walking Meetings

Many employees spend several hours each week in meetings, whether they’re sitting in conference rooms or at their desks on Zoom. Walking meetings are fun alternatives that not only increase physical activity, but they can also provide cognitive and mental health benefits. 

  • Take your meetings outside and walk around your office’s neighborhood or a nearby park
  • Consider themed walks that relate to your business agendas
  • Have employees choose destinations and tell interesting stories about landmarks along the way
  • Get tips with the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Walking Meeting Guide
African American Male taking a meeting from his phone as he walks briskly in the city.

Nutritional Wellness Ideas

8. Lunch and Learn Presentations

When employees are on their lunch breaks, they often just sit in the cafeteria eating their food and socializing with coworkers. Don’t let this time for your employees go to waste. Use it to educate your employees about how to make healthier food choices and the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle. 

  • Invite nutritionists and other experts to give lunchtime presentations
  • Play healthy eating videos on a projector or TV in the cafeteria and breakroom
  • Empower employees by asking them which topics they’d like to learn about
  • Download our guide for simple, effective steps to planning a great lunch and learn
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9. Nutritionist Consultations

Hire a nutritionist to speak with employees about their diets and nutrition goals. A nutritionist can work with employees to develop dietary plans designed to foster overall health, alleviate certain medical conditions, and help employees feel mentally sharp and physically energetic. 

  • It’s not a one-and-done deal; invite your nutritionist to return quarterly to revisit employee goals and adjust as needed
  • Nutritionists can hold group classes as well as private one-on-one sessions with employees
  • Alternatively, subsidize subscriptions to online nutritionists or nutrition apps for your employees

10. Healthy Company Potlucks

Host company potlucks in which employees bring in their tastiest healthy recipes to share with the team. Some ideas for this activity include:

  • Asking employees to share delicious ingredients that make their dishes healthy
  • Swapping healthy recipes with one another
  • Inviting a healthy eating expert to speak while you dine

RELATED: Ways to Boost Nutrition in the Workplace

table of food with people gathered around for company potluck

11. Healthy Cooking Classes

Piggybacking on the potluck idea, you can also invite a local chef to give a healthy cooking class at your office. Or make it a field trip and take employees to the chef’s restaurant. 

  • Ask the chef to share healthy yet tasty substitution ideas (think “Eat This, Not That”)
  • Have the chef give a hands-on demonstration in which employees prepare a meal and then enjoy it together
  • Check out Eating Well for healthy potluck recipes

12. Company Garden

If you have the land and the space, you can invite employees to collaborate on a healthy garden. Gardens aren’t limited to those with green thumbs; they can be learning experiences and team-building activities where employees collaborate toward shared goals. 

  • Plant healthy vegetables and provide helpful gardening resources
  • Showcase the garden in your newsletter as it grows
  • Turn your harvest into a delicious, healthy salad or other dish to share with the entire team
  • Find tips for organizing a community garden from NC State University 
middle aged man in jeans with glasses pulling weeds in the company garden.

Mental and Emotional Wellness Ideas

13. Promote EAP Services

If your company has an Employee Assistance Program, make sure your employees know about it. Employees often have a lot of stress in their lives (and it’s not necessarily directly related to their jobs). They could be stressed from family problems, psychological disorders, grief, substance abuse problems, alcohol problems, and other issues that affect their mental state.

  • Stress affects mental wellbeing and work performance
  • It’s crucial to help employees facing psychological issues get the help they need right away
  • When employees get the help they need, they’ll be happier and more productive
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14. Wellness Content for Newsletters

Newsletters are among the most effective ways to deliver wellness content to your employees. Don’t just include a few wellness articles in the employee newsletter, though. Instead:

  • Create a permanent newsletter section solely devoted to wellness ideas and activities
  • Wellness topics can include anything health-related, including nutrition, running, walking, healthy recipes, and more
  • Email your newsletter and keep print copies in your break room and work area so it’s readily available; some employees might even take it with them to incorporate wellness activities at home
  • Develop interesting, informative, and helpful content employees want to read. Here’s an example of a great wellness newsletter (and it’s free!)

15. Share Employee Success Stories

Seeing is believing, and some people will only believe a wellness initiative works when they see or hear about someone else’s success. If they happen to know the successful person, even better. 

Collect employee success stories and share them throughout your organization to motivate other employees to work toward their wellness goals.

  • Share success stories in your newsletter, on bulletin boards, on social media, or on a “Wall of Fame.” If the success involved physical transformation, post before-and-after pictures
  • Success stories can relate to weight loss, corporate promotions, weightlifting, sporting event wins, and other wellness activities
  • Success stories not only motivate others to follow in their coworkers’ footsteps, the recognition that comes with it can motivate employees to achieve their goals in the first place

16. Employee Assessments or Surveys

Many people feel they’re too busy to devote much thought to their health status, but it’s important to influence employees to think about their health before it’s neglected too long. One idea is to design customized surveys and issue them to all employees in your organization. 

  • Ask employees to share their opinions on how to improve your workplace wellness program. Request honest feedback and use surveys to measure and track employee morale and job satisfaction
  • Anonymize surveys so employees feel free to be brutally honest; you want actionable insights, not lip service
  • Surveys can help you gain an overall sense of how happy and healthy your employees are and lend insights into ways to improve the workplace to make employees happier

RELATED: How Leaders Can Communicate Support for Wellness Programs

17. Daily Meditation Breaks

Research has shown that meditation offers significant mental, emotional, and even physical benefits. For example, one study found that meditation offers clinical improvements in mood, focus, and sleep as well as an enhanced anti-inflammatory response. Moreover, meditation is four times more effective than health education in reducing blood pressure (National Library of Medicine). 

  • Schedule daily meditation breaks for employees
  • Provide guided meditation or hold a meditation workshop to help employees get the most out of their sessions
  • Consider a dedicated meditation room
  • Check out these meditation tips from Harvard Medical School

RELATED: Tips to Implement Mindfulness in the Workplace

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Social Wellness Activities

18. Book, Film, or Podcast Group

Host space for employees to participate in a book, film, or podcast group. The group can meet weekly to choose what to read, watch, or listen to and discuss their impressions. 

19. Employee Volunteer Days

Encourage employees to work together toward shared causes they’re passionate about with paid volunteer days, which have the added benefit of good PR for your company.

  • Let employees choose their preferred causes
  • Prioritize local nonprofits that benefit your community
  • Take photos and recognize participating employees on your bulletin board, social media, and in your newsletter

RELATED: Ideas for a High-Engagement Wellness Program

20. Creativity Classes

Host on-site classes that empower employees to share their creativity through art, music, literature, or other forms of expression. Ideas include:

  • Art workshops and painting parties
  • Standup comedy workshops
  • Storytelling workshops
two adults attending an amateur painting class offered by their company

21. Happy Hour/Friday Celebrations

Close up shop an hour early on Friday and treat your team to cocktails (or healthy mocktails) at a fun nearby watering hole. 

  • Ask engaging questions to learn more about your employees’ personal lives (leave work at work)
  • Encourage your team to share stories about their families, their cultures, and their hobbies
  • Celebrate special occasions with employees: work anniversaries, birthdays, or important personal and professional achievements

Financial Wellness Ideas

22. Financial Consulting

An employee with a grip on their finances will be a happier employee, which means they’ll be a better worker for the company (which is the whole point of implementing workplace wellness ideas). Hire a financial consultant to work one-on-one with your employees for:

  • Financial management and planning
  • Retirement planning
  • Debt management
  • College savings

RELATED: Financial Wellness Programs in the Workplace

23. Finance Resources

Curate a library of financial resources your employees can access for free, including:

24. Wellness Reimbursements

Set up a lifestyle fund and offer stipends to offset the cost of wellness activities employees undertake on their own time, including:

  • Gym memberships, personal training, and fitness classes
  • Weight management services
  • Massages and chiropractic care
  • Mental health services
  • Smoking cessation and alcohol programs
  • Ergonomic office equipment
  • Health and nutrition vitamins and supplements
  • Wearable health trackers (see more on these below)
  • Healthy meal services

Medical Wellness Ideas

25. Ergonomics Assessments

As HR Magazine points out, ergonomics is a smart investment for companies. An ergonomic workstation not only helps employees perform their duties comfortably while preventing long-term injury risk for conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome, studies suggest ergonomics can increase productivity by 40% while reducing errors by 56%.

  • Invite an expert to provide ergonomics assessments for your employees
  • Provide a stipend to purchase ergonomic workstations: tools, desks, chairs, mice, keyboards, etc.
  • Follow these tips to conduct your own ergonomics risk assessment

26. Health Screenings

Free onsite health screenings can help employees prevent and detect diseases before they become limiting or life-threatening. 

Cancer screenings are particularly important, as the best way to fight cancer is to treat it as early as possible. Early detection is key because symptoms often don’t present until the disease has progressed. 

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Consider annual health screenings and providing on-demand medical testing for:

  • Cancer (colon, lung, cervical, breast, etc.)
  • Blood pressure
  • BMI
  • Glucose levels
  • Cholesterol
  • Bone density
  • Hemoglobin and A1C
  • Hearing
  • Cotinine
  • Lung spirometry (for asthma and COPD)
  • Mammography

RELATED: How to Do Biometric Screening: The Complete Guide

27. Onsite Vaccinations

Onsite vaccinations prevent disease and can save lives, especially when it comes to pneumonia and the flu – two common illnesses that can be deadly in older populations. You can also consider COVID-19 vaccinations that not only protect your employees, but also reduce sick days.

  • Provide information about how employees can get onsite vaccinations
  • Promote your vaccination program in company brochures, memos, newsletters, and pamphlets
  • Have nurses come in for scheduled vaccination days for interested employees

28. Telehealth and Nurse Hotline

Many modern health insurance programs offer 24-hour nurse hotlines and free or low-cost telehealth services, yet employees often aren’t aware they can take advantage of these services.

  • Check if your insurance provider offers a nurse hotline or telehealth and how employees can access them
  • Promote these services via posters and flyers, brochures, and employee newsletters
  • Invite a representative from your insurance company to give a presentation about all the benefits included in your employees’ healthcare plans

Wellness Should Be a Culture, Not Just a Perk

Wellness ideas should be more than just perks or the next “wellness activity of the week.” Wellness should be ingrained in corporate culture. When properly implemented, these wellness activities can change lives by improving health and reducing healthcare costs.

Consider wearable fitness trackers like Fitbit or Garmin. One popular wellness idea is to purchase these trackers and gift them to employees. However, that’s a poor use of your wellness budget because:

  • Many employees do not want their companies to issue wearable devices
  • 1 in 3 Americans already have a wearable device (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute). Thanks to your program, now they have two
  • Of those who get a new device and start using it, about half will stop using it within 6 months (National Library of Medicine)
  • A small portion of employees will use their devices to track their activity

Though well-intentioned, issuing fitness trackers alone is not an effective wellness idea – though they could provide meaningful results as part of a comprehensive wellness program:

  • Rather than purchase devices, offer a discounted price for employees to purchase their own. The devices will have more value if employees have some skin in the game. Better yet, invite employees to bring their own devices, and you will have wasted no money on employees who don’t want one
  • Employees with devices can be divided into teams and compete in a variety of fitness challenges and wellness activities
  • Offer points towards incentives for those who continue to demonstrate regular physical activity. Even better, all employees could sync their devices with the WellSteps wellness platform to automatically update their activity and earn points

With these tweaks, wellness devices transition from being simple perks to effective and enjoyable intervention tools that motivate physical activity and promote long, healthy lives.


What is an Employee Wellness Activity?

Employee wellness activities are any initiatives that foster physical, nutritional, mental, emotional, social, financial, or medical wellbeing in the workplace. 

Benefits of Wellness Activities for Employees and Corporations

Health and wellness activities benefit employees at work and at home by improving their physical, mental, emotional, and financial health. They also benefit corporations by boosting employee morale, productivity, and retention while reducing healthcare costs.

What Are Some Fun Wellness Week Activity Ideas?

Wellness Week ideas include healthy competitions and sporting events, onsite chair massages, fitness classes, walking meetings, lunch and learn presentations, healthy potlucks, weekly wellness newsletters, employee volunteer days, happy hours, ergonomics assessments, and health screenings.

How Do You Promote Corporate Wellness Ideas & Activities?

You need to promote wellness events and activities for them to be effective. Here are some simple suggestions for marketing your corporate wellness ideas for employees:

  • Advertise: Use posters, flyers, your employee newsletter, staff meetings, and emails
  • Capture attention: Make your advertising materials fun and interesting!
  • Keep your messages short and sweet: Make sure employees can see most of the relevant information at a glance
  • Target harder-to-reach employees: If you have clinical staff, night employees, field workers, etc., be sure they are aware of the wellness event
  • Be consistent in your communications: Start well before the date(s) of the event and advertise regularly

What to Do with Your Corporate Wellness Ideas and Initiatives

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If your worksite wants to improve employee health and reduce health care costs, you are going to need a solution that turns corporate wellness activities into comprehensive wellness strategies. Let us show you how this is done.

About The Author

Dr. Steve Aldana

Dr. Aldana is the CEO of Wellsteps, a worksite wellness solution that leads the nation in wellness program deployment and engagement. Dr. Aldana authored over 75 scientific papers and 7 books on health risk management, healthy living, and health promotion programs. He has given over 350 keynote speeches across the U.S. on the ability of good nutrition and regular exercise to prevent, arrest, and reverse many chronic diseases.

1 Comment

  1. Excellent recommendations Dr. Aldana – thanks for the easy tools and reminders!

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