Winter weather is in full force at the Wellable office in Boston. It’s cold, windy, and dark by 5pm.
What does winter weather mean for health and wellness?
According to a Gallup poll, winter weather means less exercise and worse eating habits for many Americans. “The percentage of Americans who exercise and consume fruits and vegetables frequently falls about five percentage points every December from the highs Gallup finds each July and August.”
There are a number of reasons why exercise and fruit and vegetable consumption may decrease – outdoor exercise difficulty and limited access to healthy produce during the winter months are two reasons.
At Wellable, we view the winter months as an opportunity for employers. As winter approaches it becomes even more important for employers to step-up their wellness game and find creative ways to engage employees.
Incentives and competitions are two approaches for fighting the winter wellness woes. Providing financial or non-financial incentives to employees who engage in healthy activity provides some additional encouragement. Making wellness fun with a team-based employee competition can boost wellness activity and employee morale.
According to Gallop’s poll, December is the least healthy month for Americans – how about starting your employee wellness New Year’s resolution one month early?
For more information on Gallup’s wellness poll: http://www.gallup.com/poll/151424/health-habits-continue-steep-winter-decline.aspx