Many of us are familiar with how a wellness program works. For those new to a wellness program, you’ll find that it involves a mix of educational activities and fun challenges.

Wellness companies that understand the importance of nurturing employee health also understand how happy and healthy employees can positively impact a business. This is why its imperative to design challenges that promote healthy living ideas and encourage maximum participation.

13 Fun Workplace Wellness Challenge Ideas Your Employees Will Enjoy

If you’re stuck for wellness challenge ideas that are fun and exciting for a workforce to indulge in, you’ve come to the right place!

Here’s an extensive list of fun wellness challenges that employees are sure to enjoy!

What are Wellness Challenge Ideas?

Employee wellness challenges aim to encourage and inspire a workforce to adopt a healthy lifestyle and make better life choices. Whether that means working on fitness goals, work stress, lack of sleep, or food cravings, wellness challenges can help employees improve their health and well-being over time.

Employees are left feeling motivated and empowered when they accomplish small yet significant milestones. Wellness challenges take the boring out of mundane activities, giving employees a fun way to accomplish personal goals.

Doing activities alone can be hard without the right support. That’s what makes employee wellness challenges a joy to be a part of. Through daily competitions and positive, friendly reminders, employees get to work together as a team to cross the finish line collectively.

For a wellness program to succeed, a company needs to measure the outcome of different wellness challenge ideas.

For a wellness program to succeed, a company needs to measure the outcome of different wellness challenge ideas and incentivize a program to increase employee engagement and participation. Employers need to track individual progress and engagement through a wellness committee before a program’s structure can be strengthened or modified.

RELATED: 8 Desirable Benefits of Corporate Wellness Challenges for Employees

Physical Activity Challenges

Conducting physical challenges is a fun way to get employees on their feet. It takes time to build a routine and turn it into a habit. Encouraging employees to take it slow and enjoy the process is the key to turning physical activities into a ritual. 

wellness challenge ideas

At WellSteps, we promote fun and wellness through the following physical activity challenges.

Daily 30

Dedicate 30 minutes of exercise every day and track your daily progress.

Step It Up

Scale mountain summits through manual and synced activity steps.

1,000 Reps

Complete a thousand repetitions in two weeks and claim a prize once this is accomplished.

Quest

Every time you complete 10,000 steps a day, you unlock a treasure along the way.

RELATED: 50 Office Challenge Ideas Including Office Fitness Challenges

Healthy Eating Challenges

Healthy eating wellness challenge ideas can encourage employees to make smarter food choices. Trying to accomplish this shift alone can be uninspiring, but it will feel great to be part of a team of coworkers on the same journey. 

Together, employees can build and sustain healthier eating habits through fun challenges. Ready to explore fun wellness challenge ideas that promote healthy eating?

Eat Your Vegetables

Fiber it up with WellSteps’s challenge that encourages you to eat at least three servings of veggies in a day. 

Go for H2O

Keeping your body hydrated comes with its share of perks, such as better energy levels and fewer hunger pangs. For this challenge, you have to hydrate yourself throughout the day to meet daily requirements.

Fruit It Up

Eat fruits every day and watch your scores skyrocket as you ace the challenge.

Breakfast Boost

Adopt five healthy breakfast ideas and watch your daily routine and health transform for the better.

Emotional Health And Other Wellness Challenge Ideaswellness

Improving one’s emotional health can positively influence work and personal life. By channeling compassion and empathy towards employees, wellness companies can help people cope with challenging emotions and situations. 

wellness challenge ideas for emotional health and wellbeing at work

Let’s explore how WellSteps’s rewarding wellness challenge ideas can keep employees happy and healthy in and out of the office:

Sweet Dreams

Sleep is such a crucial part of our daily routine. If thrown out of whack, lack of sleep can result in serious health concerns such as a compromised immune system and improper digestion. The healing and restorative power of sleep can be highlighted through this fun challenge that encourages individuals to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep in a day.

Stress Down

Individuals perform a 10-minute stress-relieving activity and track their progress daily.

Get Organized

To live a clutter-free life is to experience the joy of being organized, hygienic, and mindful. Through this challenge, individuals get to organize a particular space and enjoy its influence on their daily lives.

Financial Wellness

Several factors eat away at hard-earned money, from impulsive buying to not keeping track of daily expenses. This challenge encourages individuals to complete a financial task every day to help grow their wealth.

Mindfulness Matters

Being mindful can help us put things into perspective and handle situations and reactions with a clear mind and calm demeanor. Through a series of interesting challenges, individuals experience mindful living one day at a time.

RELATED: 10 Tips to Implement Mindfulness in the Workplace

Bonus Wellness Challenge Ideas for Everyone

A wellness committee is responsible for creating a program that works for everyone instead of a few interested people. That’s why it’s important to mix and match wellness challenge ideas to understand what piques an employee’s interest.

It’s also crucial to track the health and wellness outcomes of individuals and consistently come up with ways to keep wellness initiatives fresh and progressive.

As an example, we’ve put together a fun timetable of how to spread out employee wellness challenges throughout the week. 

Companies can update the timetables on a shared wellness interface or app that employees can access. Do bear in mind the needs of remote employees who haven’t returned to the office and always alternate between different challenges to spice things up for everyone.

RELATED: 7 Ways a Virtual Wellness Program Makes Employees Healthy

Mindful Breathing Session

Mindful breathing can set into motion a host of long-term benefits. From better lung health to improved oxygen intake to reduced blood pressure, the results of deep, controlled breathing are worth noting. Schedule a day of mindful breathing by getting an expert to come in and take over the session. Employees are more responsive when a practiced host performs guided meditations.

Gratitude Diary

Encourage employees to maintain a diary and list 3 to 5 things they’re grateful for every week. This challenge doesn’t aim to dismiss an individual’s traumatic or unsettling experience but to help them embrace other aspects of their life that are worth appreciating.

Group Meditation

Meditating can develop awareness, regulate breathing, and reduce stress, among other intriguing benefits. Organize a group meditation session with a professional who can also shed light on the benefits of meditation between sessions.

No Takeout Day

Ordering takeout comes naturally to many people who don’t have the time or proclivity to cook. Encourage employees to prepare meals from scratch by giving them the resources to find wholesome, fresh produce online or in stores to make cooking at home easy and fun. To ensure they follow through, have them share pictures, and the recipe of the meals they prepare so others can be inspired to cook at home.

Zumba Session

There’s nothing like a good Zumba session to work up a sweat! Schedule a session virtually or in person at the end of the day to help employees unwind. 

To motivate people, employers can distribute company fitness merchandise (water bottles, skipping rope, hand weights, and the like) and apparel.

wellness challenge ideas for  zumba classes for employees

Joy Of Giving Challenge

List a handful of reputable charities that accept hand-me-downs such as clothing, toys, books, and stationery to encourage employees to support these worthy causes with belongings they no longer need or use.

Vegan Challenge

Veganism is a growing movement, which has made it relatively easier to follow a meatless, dairy-free diet. 

Get a vegan nutritionist to come in and elucidate the benefits of this diet and discuss which food sources and brands can fulfill such an endeavor. Dedicate one day of the week or month for employees to prepare and eat vegan meals.

Support A Small Business

Small businesses don’t often get the attention they deserve. To change this, list 4 to 5 small businesses that employees and their families can visit whenever they need their products or services. Every time you organize this challenge, target a different set of small businesses to actively support as a team.

Team Lunch With A Purpose

Plan a team lunch to celebrate small and big wins after tracking employees’ progress across challenges. Hosting luncheons is also a great opportunity to distribute wellness incentives to employees as rewards.

Walking Meetings

Sitting down for long meetings can take a toll on one’s posture and overall health. For employees who sit all day working, meetings can be the avenue you need to bring about a change! Encourage employees to walk for meetings at the park, through a scenic trail, in their backyard, or even at home.

Grow A Plant

Caring for a plant is one thing; keeping it alive is another. This is what makes growing plants challenging but fun. 

It’s also a great way to urge employees to bring plants to the office or start a small garden at home. The aim is to start with one plant and then take it from there. Get employees to share progress pictures, helpful information, and supportive messages to help others grow their plants successfully.

potted plants in the office for wellness challenge ideas

No Smoking Day

The ill effects of smoking have been the stuff of campaigns and ad commercials for the longest time. Unfortunately, this addictive habit can be difficult (but not impossible!) to kick. Educate employees on the benefits of snuffing the habit and how they can help other smokers in the process.

Share A Compliment Day

Paying someone a compliment can brighten up their day instantly. Employees can pick someone from an assortment of randomized names so that no one feels left out. Compliments can be shared on a virtual dashboard or written on little cards provided by the wellness committee.

Virtual Hug Day

Virtual hugs are a touching way to show someone you care from a distance. A thoughtful way to send a virtual hug is to ask employees to record themselves in a short video with a message like, “I hope you’re not having a tough day at work. In case you are, here’s a tight hug for you.”

Learn A New Skill

Learning a new skill can empower individuals to accomplish something extraordinary. Whether upskilling on the job or learning how to cook or sew, a wellness committee can put together educational or creative skill options (with an easy way to track progress) for employees to choose from.

Surprise Day Off

Before distributing a timetable with what’s scheduled for the week, label this particular day as ‘Surprise.’

Between working and completing activities from the wellness challenge ideas proposed by the committee, employees will love it when a surprise day off is announced.

If this day falls on a Monday, update employees after lunch on Friday, so they don’t have to log on after the weekend. Instead of everyone getting an off simultaneously, it would be wiser to declare department-wise offs.

Join A Cause

To make the world a better place to live in, people have to come together and be the voice of change. From child trafficking to animal testing to climate change to racism, there are plenty of persistent issues that are worth standing up to.

Joining a cause can also bring people together, especially if they are passionate and driven to make a difference. Employers can associate themselves with a handful of organizations that need volunteers in their spare time to support a cause.

Journaling

Maintaining a journal is a therapeutic habit. Encourage employees to pen down their thoughts, feelings, and even their progress from one weekly challenge to the next. To keep track of this activity, reach out to employees individually every few weeks to note their engagement levels.

wellness challenge ideas for journaling

Self-Love Session

Self-love can be a wonderful way to help employees develop positive feelings towards themselves. Employers can get a lifestyle coach on board to shed light on how self-love can be preventative and rewarding.

Through the coach’s help, employees can practice different forms of self-love, such as taking time off from work to travel, reciting positive affirmations out loud every day, signing up for a fitness program, visiting a wellness retreat, or choosing to be kind to oneself.

Healthy Breakfast Challenge

This is one of several employee wellness challenges that promise to change how a workforce partakes in the most important meal of the day. Mention one or two key ingredients that employees should use in a breakfast meal like ‘chia seeds and almond milk,’ ‘grapefruit and kiwis,’ ‘blueberries and oats,’ or ‘coconut milk and bananas.’ 

Challenging employees to make healthy food choices for breakfast will set the tone for the rest of the day.

Vegetarian Potluck

Perfect for teams, potlucks can bring people together to share wholesome meals from different cultures and cooking styles. Setting weekly or monthly potlucks can motivate employees to cook meals at home instead of relying on takeout.

Cooking Challenge

A cook-off challenge can stoke excitement levels as employees bring their best skills to the kitchen. Have employees memorize or come up with a recipe based on the challenge’s theme. Keep it simple and fun by separating employees into teams to encourage bonding and coordination.

Take The Stairs

Taking the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator can encourage individuals to squeeze in some form of physical activity when they’re out and about. Share insightful information on the benefits of taking the stairs and have employees track their progress through wearable devices.

Documentary Screening

Documentaries make great tools to inspire and empower individuals to take control of situations in and around their lives. Choose compelling documentaries that touch on topics such as substance abuse, mental health, sugar addiction, decluttering hacks, or weight management. Screening TEDx Talks hosted by influential people is also a great alternative to explore.

Random Act Of Kindness

Ever been on the receiving end of a random act of kindness? Small gestures of the sort have a lasting impression and can even restore one’s faith in humanity. To create that feeling for employees and underscore the relevance of the act, have them do something nice for a stranger or someone they know.

employees coming together for a cause

Performing this challenge will inspire others to act from a place of kindness and love. Urge employees to share what they did anonymously through the company’s wellness portal or app under a forum dedicated to this activity.

To Conclude

The above wellness challenge ideas are just ways you can get employees to live a better life at work and otherwise. A wellness program that considers all aspects of physical, mental, and emotional health should incorporate a mix of these wellness challenge ideas for employees to have fun with.

A wellness program should be positioned to evolve and adapt to the changing needs of employees to ensure maximum participation and results.

It’s important to note that tracking the outcomes of these wellness challenge ideas is important to get a sense of what works and doesn’t work. Ultimately, a wellness program should be positioned to evolve and adapt to the changing needs of employees to ensure maximum participation and results.

But is all of this overwhelming? Don’t worry, that’s whay we do what we do here at WellSteps so that you don’t have to. We don’t recommend tackling this on your own. Schedule a free demo with our team and discover how we can help you make a difference for your workplace today.

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. I would like some information for employee challenges. I am an employee nurse practitioner

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