Healthy Employees

Nutrition Month Ideas

To celebrate Nutrition Month in your organization, consider doing one or all of the following: Develop a nutrition policy.  To help you get started check out this post. Host a Workplace Taco or Salad Bar.  Here are the Taco Bar or Salad Bar Promotion Instructions. Promote the FREE Supermarket Tour on March 22.  You can [...]

Take a Comprehensive Approach to Addressing Substance Misuse

A substance is any product that alters your physical or mental capacity. Some of the most common substances we use include caffeine and alcohol but it also includes prescription medications and illicit drugs. If your workplace does not have a substance use policy and plan, it would be wise to consider creating one.  To help [...]

Prepare for the Legalization of Cannabis

Recent headlines have focused on federal government’s plan to legalize cannabis (also known as marijuana among many other names).  Some workplaces have made initial inquiries regarding how they will need to respond.  The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety wrote an article called “Marijuana and the Workplace“.  A short read, it is a good [...]

Promote Rethink Your Drinking: Size Matters

All across the province of Ontario, people are hearing the message that size does matter…at least when it comes to the serving size of a standard alcoholic drink.  Consider sharing information with your employees on responsible alcohol consumption.  A dedicated website called Rethink Your Drinking is a great resource for information and materials that you [...]

Create a Healthy Workplace Nutrition Environment

The Ontario Society of Nutrition Professionals in Public Health (OSNPPH) have created a toolkit on Creating a Healthy Workplace Nutrition Environment.  This comprehensive tool kit includes checklists, assessment forms and videos.  There is information around how to get employer support, striking a committee, handling food donations, educating employees and everything else related to food.  Every [...]

Reduce Sedentary Behaviour at Work

A previous post addressed the need to encourage employees to be more active (see: Encourage Employees to Increase Their Physical Activity at Work) but the movement to address sedentary lifestyles is gaining traction.  Here is an interesting blog post on Cubicle Culture.  And a neighbouring health unit has adapted a tool kit for workplaces that [...]

Alcohol Awareness – Information for Employees Who Are Parents Too

Employees who are parents of youth have a lot to juggle.  What may be weighing on their minds at work is their children.  Support your employees by sharing information that helps them in their parenting.  The Ontario Injury Prevention Resource Centre has two resources available for parents on alcohol and youth.  There is a 16-page [...]

Small Changes One Meal at a Time

Eating well can boost your health and help you feel your best. Want to eat better? Instead of trying to change everything at once, take a 100 Meal Journey. We eat about 100 meals in a month, so focus on making a small, lasting change and stick with it… one meal at a time. First, [...]

Tastebuds, Get Ready to Tingle- Try Something New!

Think healthy eating is bland? No way! Healthy eating tastes great! Keep it interesting, and get creative with cooking strategies. Experiment with new foods and flavours. Get the featured nutrition month recipes, and try something new! •Breakfast: Cinnamon Multigrain & Yogurt Pancakes or Spice Roasted Peach and Yogurt Parfait •Lunch: Chicken, Swiss & Vegetable Bulgur [...]

Prioritize Portion Size!

When it comes to healthy eating, how much you eat can be just as important as what you eat. Eating portions that are too big can lead to overeating and weight gain. Manage the munchies by enjoying realistic portions. Size counts! Package, plate and portion sizes can influence how much you eat. Larger portions, huge [...]

Quality Counts!

Nourishing foods promote health and can help you feel your best. Take small steps to bump up the quality of your meals and snacks. Swap in nutrient-rich choices and enjoy deliciously healthy foods. Power through your morning with a good breakfast with protein and fibre, to help you stay alert and avoid mid-morning munchies. In [...]

Consider Creating a Nutrition Policy in Your Workplace

The Workplace Nutrition Advisory Group of the Ontario Society of Nutrition Professionals in Public Health has put out a call to act for workplaces to adopt healthy nutrition practices.  Making good food choices is easier for employees when the workplace supports it.  Check out this short 2:35 minute video to learn more. Source:  Peterborough County-City [...]

Help Employees Tackle Fatigue

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health Safety has a resources that you can share with your employees that will help them identify whether or not they are dealing with the effects of fatigue and what they can do to make it better.  There is a webpage full of information and a short 4 minute podcast [...]

Encourage Your Employees to Stay Hydrated

Staying hydrated is important all year around but especially in the heat of the summer.  Juices and sodas can contain unwanted sugar.  Water is always a good choice.  You can encourage your staff to stay hydrated by making water easily accessible.  You can even jazz it up with different flavours.  This new resource from the [...]

“Work With Us” – A Program to Support Employees with Depression and/or Arthritis

The Mood Disorders Society of Canada and the Arthritis Society have teamed up to create a program to support employees living with depression and/or arthritis.  The program offers a variety of ways in which to get involved–customized presentations, on-line support, videos and webinars and other downloadable resources.  For more information visit their website. Source: Peterborough [...]

Encourage Employees to Increase Their Physical Activity At Work

Many jobs today involve sitting for long periods of time.  Current research and news items have been drawing attention to the negative impact of sedentary behaviour on our health.  Get creative about incorporating physical activity during the work day.  Here are a few ideas: Have a physical activity flash mob at meetings.  Between agenda items someone [...]

Promote Healthy Eating Using Short Videos

You don’t need a dietitian to visit your workplace in order to share healthy eating tips with your employees.  Eat Right Ontario is a great resource for anyone looking for information about nutrition and health eating. Here are four short videos that you could show during a lunch and learn or to circulate by e-mail: [...]

Design Your Workspaces to Encourage Activity

In today’s brain-based economy, many employees are spending large parts of their day sitting in front of computers, in meetings or in their cars.  Recent news headlines are proclaiming that these prolonged periods of sitting are dangerous to our health—even if we do walk to work or visit a gym routinely.  There’s a movement afoot [...]

Healthy Eating During the Summer: Tips and Ideas

Activities to promote healthy eating in your workplace this summer: 1)      Instead of the office candy dish, have a workplace fruit bowl. Stock it with a variety of fresh fruit weekly and encourage employees to try new kinds of fruit they’ve never tried before. Choosing local produce in season will be fresher; will help support [...]

Colleague Cooking Challenge

Cooking together or sharing a meal together is a great way to connect with your fellow colleagues, especially when there’s a friendly competition involved! Have fun with this challenge.   Here’s how: Choose a theme, like “Super Scrumptious Soup” or “Tastiest Smoothie Ever”! Organize this challenge like you would an employee potluck. Encourage employees  to bring in their dish [...]

Pop-Up Salad Bar

To participate in a POP-UP salad bar employees are encouraged to bring a salad bar item/ingredient to share with their co-workers like greens, berries, cucumbers, chickpeas, seeds, nuts, feta cheese, ham, hard-boiled eggs, salad dressing or anything else that would be delicious on top of a salad! All the toppings brought in by employees can be put out [...]

Tobacco Cessation and Prevention: Helpful Resources

LOCAL RESOURCES Smokers’ Helpline  -  1-877-513-5333 Peterborough County-City Health Unit  -  (705) 743-1000 Choose to Be…Smoke Free Support Group  -   (705) 743-1000  (free support group for women who would like to be smoke free, transporation and child care provided) STOP on the Road Quit Smoking Workshops  -  (705) 743-1000  (free smoking cessation workshops held in [...]

Being Active: Helpful Resources

LOCAL RESOURCES Peterborough Parks Department  -  (705) 745-1386 Peterborough Recreation Department  -  (705) 742-7777 WEB-BASED RESOURCES Shifting Gears                                                          Public Health Agency of Canada: Physical Activity Guide                                    Active Ontario                                                                                                      Alberta Centre for Active Living            Active Living Alliance for Canadians with a Disability                                          Canadian Council for Health & Active Living at Work                                                       [...]

Healthy Eating: Helpful Resources

LOCAL RESOURCES For nutrition support:  Eat Right Ontario  -  1-877-510-5102 To learn about local nutrition programs and services:  Peterborough County-City Health Unit  -  (705) 743-1000 Registered Dietitians in Peterborough March 2012 WEB-BASED RESOURCES Peterborough County-City Health Unit                                                    Eat Right Ontario                                                                                             Dietitians of Canada                                                                                                   5 to 10 a Day for Better Health                                                                    [...]

Chronic Disease Prevention: Helpful Resources

LOCAL RESOURCES Canadian Cancer Society, Peterborough  -  (705) 742-3823 Ontario Breast Screening Program (PRHC)  -  (705) 740-8166 or 1-800-974-4461 Ontario Breast Screening Program (Medical Centre)  -  (705) 876-4505 Peterborough & District Oncology Centre  -  (705) 740-8326 Heart and Stroke Foundation (Peterborough)  -  (705) 749-1044 Canadian Diabetes Association  -  (705) 741-2155 Women’s Health Care Centre  -  [...]

30 Tips for 30 Days from Eat Right Ontario

  Eat Right Ontario has a great resource that you can share with your employees to encourage a month of healthy eating options.  It’s called A tip for every day of the month: 30 tips to make your work day healthier.  Click here for more details.

Create Diversions to Avoid Smoke Breaks

Hamilton Healthy Workplaces: Quit the Smoke Break is a resource that helps workplaces and employees trying to quit smoking avoid the temptation of taking a smoke break.  Here’s what they say: “Trying to quit or help your employees quit? Do breaks make you or your employees want to smoke? Then quit the smoke break.  One [...]

Promote Smoking Cessation Programs

Provide flexibility for staff to attend local cessation programs (i.e., Choose to Be…Smoke-Free) or partner with community organizations to offer on-site group cessation support. To start, consider posting these Choose to be…Smoke Free tear off posters in key locations around your workplace. Also promote these resources via e-mail or intranet services: Free Quit Smoking Support [...]

Support Your Employees to Quit

Provide incentives, support and/or resources to employees who wish to quit smoking (i.e., lunch ‘n’ learns, identify workplace cessation champions, newsletter inserts, etc). Promote these resources to employees ready to quit (click on the title to visit the website): Don’t Quit Quitting Check out the online “Quit Counter” – See your progress in real-time. Keep track of the [...]

Make Sure Employees Stay Hydrated This Summer

In the heat and humidity, it’s easy to get dehydrated quickly.  Be sure to have water available and accessible to your employees.  Here are some tips from EatRight Ontario about staying hydrated. Source: Peterborough Public Health

Active Living Bingo

Recent messaging around being physically active has focused on getting 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity in a week.  Holding a month-long active living bingo at work will encourage your employees to get moving.  Here is a sample Bingo Card to get you started. Source:  Peterborough County-City Health Unit

Be Aware of Opioid (Narcotics) Use

The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) reports that that 40 percent more workers have been prescribed narcotics compared to ten years ago. There have also been 100 per cent more narcotic prescriptions over that same time. Since 2006, the doses prescribed by physicians have also increased. A new graphic video by the Centre for Addiction [...]

Promote the New National Low Risk Drinking Guidelines

Canada has new national low-risk alcohol drinking guidelines to help people who drink to reduce their immediate and long-term alcohol-related harm. Alcohol use involves short term risks from injury and longer term health concerns including cancer, stroke, and heart disease. These long term health risks can be reduced by drinking no more than 10 drinks [...]

Sun Safety for Golfers

Do you have avid golfers in your workplace.  If you do, you will know!  While they get outside to mix a little comraderie with exercise (a great boost for mental health), encourage them to be sun safe.  Here is a Poster that you can place around the workplace for employees to see. Source: Peterborough County-City Health Unit

Encourage Employees to Cook from Scratch

Encourage employees to prepare more meals from scratch with good-for-you ingredients. Healthy eating doesn’t have to be complicated; nutritious convenience foods, such as frozen fruit, ready-to-go salads and pre-chopped vegetables, offer simple shortcuts. Check out these healthy and quick recipes on the Peterborough County City Health Unit website at Meals in Minutes! Source: Peterborough County-City [...]

Organize a Workplace Lunch Co-op

Form a lunch co-op with four co-workers.  Take turns bringing lunch or supper for each other. This idea works best if members of the co-op have similar tastes.  Each person is  responsible for making one lunch a week and gets to enjoy a homemade lunch every day.  Set the ground rules before you start, such as what [...]

Healthy Eating @ Work

Working Canadians spend at least 60% of their waking hours at their job and eat at least one meal during the workday. Workplaces are ideal settings to promote healthy eating. Productivity and concentration can be optimized by providing adequate time for meals and access to healthy food every day in the workplace. Ideas to Promote [...]

Support Employees to be Active Winter Commuters

Once the snow flies and ice builds up on sidewalks, employees who walk to work or during their breaks may decide to drive to work and stay indoors.  Encourage employees to remain active commuters throughout the winter months.  Share these tips from Peterborough Green Up:  What can the workplace do?  Some workplaces have implemented [...]

Limit Sleeping and Sitting to 23 1/2 Hours a Day

If you want to kick start your employees in getting active, consider taking 10 minutes to show them this great YouTube video by Dr. Mike Evans.  Dr. Evans, a physician based in Toronto, makes the case for moving just 30 minutes a day.  Check the video out here: Source:  Peterborough County-City Health Unit

“Health Options at Work”: A Physical Activity Guide

Toronto Public Health has created a guide to provide workplaces with information needed to plan, promote and implement a multi-strategy approach to physical activity programming in the workplace.  Here is the link to the guide: Source: Peterborough County-City Health Unit  

Making a Business Case for Active Living at Work

Active employees are healthy employees both physically and mentally.  And healthy employees means improved morale, higher productivity, lower absenteeism, and lower operating costs.  If you are considering introducing a physical activity program and you need to make a business case, you might find this resource from Health Canada very helpful.   This on-line resource entitled Business Case for Active [...]

Substances and Shiftwork

Shiftwork wreaks havoc on employees’ circadian rhythms and, as a result, employees may rely on certain substances to either help them stay awake or go to sleep.  It can be dangerous to the employees using the substances as well as their co-workers. Be sure to educate your employees about the dangers.  To help you get started, here [...]

Eat Smart, Meet Smart

As an employer you can utilize the Eat Smart, Meet Smart booklet to role model healthy eating at your workplace. The booklet, produced by The Western and Northern Canadian Collaborative for Healthy Living, provides useful tips for planning healthy meetings, events and conferences including information about portion size, quantities to order, and the kinds of [...]

Healthy Eating Manual

The Nutrition Resource Centre has produced a new resource that will be of interest to workplaces.  It is an on-line resource that consists of 8 ready-to-use “lessons” designed for use by a number of groups including Occupational Health Professionals and other workplace wellness champions who are involved in delivering healthy eating education.  Here’s the link to [...]

Educate Your Employees about the Dangers of Tanning

In July 2009, the World Health Organization categorized tanning equipment as a known carcinogen, as dangerous to health as smoking and asbestos.  Exposure to UV radiation from indoor tanning beds before 35 years of age increases the possibility of developing melanoma, the most deadly type of skin cancer, by 75%. This is especially alarming since [...]

BBQs Made Healthy

One of the best ways to enjoy summer weather is to grill it up and invite employees to share a healthy meal together. Barbeques can be a fast and healthy way to enjoy your favourite meats, fish and vegetables outdoors. Side Dishes Vegetable skewers Grilled potatoes Bean salad Condiments Herbs – coriander, basil, and oregano [...]

Shiftwork and Cancer

The March issue of Ontario Cancer Facts from Cancer Care Ontario addresses the link between shiftwork and cancer.  The article starts by saying that the International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified night- time shift work as ’probably carcinogenic to humans’.  Those sectors with the most shift work employees were manufacturing,  retail, health care and accommodation and food services.  To [...]

Exercises for Employees Who Stand

For some employees such as teachers, cashiers, hair stylists, cooks, assembly line workers, servers and bartenders, standing is a big part of their work day.  In order to reduce injuries, consider sharing this handout, Exercises for Employees Who Stand which was created by Jasmine Isaac, Kinesiologist with Wellness Works Professionals in Peterborough. Source:  Wellness Works Professionals, Peterborough

Encourage Employees to Walk While They Work

Recent research shows that sitting for long periods of time is bad for our health.  If you organization is a “sitting” workplace–sitting at computers and sitting in meetings–encourage employees to move while they work.  Promote walking meetings, standing up while using the phone, and walking over to speak with co-workers rather than phoning or e-mailing. These are small changes but every [...]

Encourage Employees to Shop for Local Healthy Foods

Let your employees know about these great resources that will help them locate healthy, local foods: Food in Peterborough! · Get involved with different food projects or become a member of local food cooperatives or community gardens ( Community gardens · Work with your staff to start, support or get involved with local projects to [...]

Do You Need to Supplement Your A, B, C’s?

There are so many types of vitamins and supplements available today and people are confused about whether or not they should be using them.  Generally, most people get all the nutrients they need from a balanced diet following Canada’s Food Guide to Healthy Eating. However, some individuals (e.g. women who may become pregnant, women who are pregnant or [...]

Shifting Gears Challenge

Every May, workplaces in the Peterborough area are encouraged to participate in the Shifting Gears Challenge.   This year, the challenge has expanded to be a community challenge and there is still a workplace component.  The idea is to get as many employees signed up as possible and for the month of May, they walk, cycle, [...]

Reveal the Nutritional Value of Vending Machine Snacks

Some people will make different food choices if they know the nutritional content of the food.  The nutrition label on the food items in vending machines are not usually visible so reproduce the nutrition labels and post them near the machine.  Suggest alternative healthy items, and if possible, make them available to employees.  For example, provide a fruit [...]

Eating Fruits and Vegetables

Post information in your workplace cafeteria, lunch or break room about ways employees can increase the amount of vegetables and fruits they bring to work or eat while at work. Information can include: 1.       Examples of different vegetables and fruits. This may encourage employees to try something new. 2.       Ways to include vegetables and fruits in [...]

Skin Cancer Awareness

Skin cancer can effect anyone but outdoor workers are especially vulnerable.  Remind employees to take precautions by applying sun screen, wearing long sleeves, a hat and sunglasses when possible and seeking shade breaks.  Support employees by providing them with sun screen and shade tents, umbrellas or canopies. Source:  Peterborough County-City Health Unit

Make it Mandatory to Report Chemical Spills and Leaks

When harmful or infectious chemicals and substances are released into the work environment, it is crucial to document the spill and respond quickly.  Proper reporting of spills and leaks will ensure a fast, appropriate response to the incident and better measures to prevent spills in the first place. Source: Brant County Health Unit

TB Tests for New Employees

Require that all new hires are tested for tuberculosis prior to beginning work.  Special attention should be paid to newly immigrated employees that arrive in Canada from countries that are at high-risk for TB exposure. Source:  Brant County Health Unit

Eat Well, Be Active (Kit)

Health Canada has produced two great resources that walk you through healthy eating  and physical activity information.  There are step by step instructions on how you can facilitate this in different settings.  See the two guides below for more information: Activity Plan #1 (Children and Adults):  Benefits of Eating Well and Being Physically Active Activity [...]

Keeping Workplace Vehicles Smoke-Free

The Smoke-Free Ontario Act outlines that smoking is not allowed in any workplaces including workplace vehicles.  The Middlesex-London Health Unit has a quick Fact Sheet about what the Act requires for workplace vehicles.  For the full Fact Sheet see: Here are some of the highlights: EMPLOYERS MUST: post no smoking signs in workplace vehicles give [...]

Promote the Smokers’ Helpline

The Canadian Cancer Society’s Smokers’ Helpline is a free, confidential service that offers personalized support, advice and information about quitting tobacco.  You can access the Helpline by phone at 1-877-513-5333, on-line at and via interactive text messaging support. Source:  Peterborough County-City Health Unit

Raise Second-Hand Smoke Awareness

Host a seminar on second-hand smoke and the important measures that governments and employers take to reduce second-hand smoke in the workplace.  Important discussion points might include the toxic contents of second-hand smoke, its health consequences, and local policies that place restrictions on smoking. Source:  County of Lambton Community Health Services Department

Engage Your Employee’s Motivation to Quit Smoking

Breaking the habit begins with the motivation to do so.  With the help of local health organizations, prepare a smoking cessation program that focuses on developing a personalized quit plan, discussing how to live without tobacco, and learning about nitoctine replacement therapy in a welcoming and supportive environment.  Emphasize small steps and small rewards that allow [...]

Driven to Quit Challenge

This is a provincial contest that awards those who quit smoking for a minimum period of time the opportunity to enter into a draw to win amazing prizes.  Friends and family members of smokers are encouraged to become a support buddy in “The Challenge” for their chance to win a buddy prize.  For details and [...]

Familiarize Employees with Canada’s Food Guide

Distribute flyers around the workplace that display Canada’s Food Guide: and explain the recommended daily intake of different foods.  Make sure that these flyers are available in and around cafeterias, dining areas, rest areas, and vending machines. Source:  Peterborough County-City Health Unit

His & Hers Health Fair

Organize a Health Fair at your workplace. Invite organizations to provide a display or handouts that introduce employees to the issues related to healthy eating, staying active, and maintaining vitality throughout life. Approach different organizations for resources.  Organizations could include your local Health Unit, Heart and Stroke Foundation, Canadian Mental Health Association, Canadian Diabetes Association, or the [...]

Provide Programming that Encourages Responsible Substance Use

Host a seminar or distribute informational materials on low-risk drinking guidelines and tips for appointing a designated driver.  For those who choose not to drink alcohol, post recipes for non-alcoholic “mocktails.”  You can find a number of mocktail recipes at the Peterborough County-City Health Unit website: Source: Brant County Health Unit

Encourage Employees to Rid Themselves—and Their Clothing—of Workplace Chemicals

Employees who work with potentially harmful or infectious substances are advised to shower and change their clothing prior to leaving the workplace.  If no shower or locker facilities are available, employees should transport their soiled clothing in plastic bags, making sure that the clothes do not come in contact with any other garments. Source: Brant [...]

Promoting Heart Attack and Heart Health Awareness

Host a seminar or distribute informational materials on heart health.  Important topics include risk factors for having a heart attack, practical strategies for promoting heart health, and signs and symptoms of heart attack in men and women.  If you have an occupational health nurse, consider holding a blood pressure clinic.  If you don’t have a [...]

Provide Employees with Personal Protective Equipment

Occupational carcinogens can enter the body through one or more routes, including inhalation, ingestion with food, absorption through the skin, or direct exposure to the skin.  Therefore, it is important that employees wear personal protective equipment such as goggles, gowns, and gloves when they come in contact with harmful or infectious substances at work.  As [...]

Workplace Parties–Being a Responsible Host

Many workplaces host parties to celebrate events and certain times of the year. At some of these parties, alcohol will be served. There are risks and liabilities if you are a host, organizer or sponsor of an event where alcohol is served. It is important that you take steps to protect your employees and guests (and [...]

Alcohol, Other Drugs and Gambling: Helpful Resources

SEEKING HELP/SUPPORT Alcohol Help Centre                                                                                             Alcoholics Anonymous, Al-Anon, Alateen  –  (705) 745-6111                   Canadian Mental Health Association – (705) 748-6711       Centre for Addiction and Mental Health  –  1-800-463-6273 Drug & Alcohol Registry of Treatment (D.A.R.T.) Treatment Infoline  -  1-800-565-8603 Four Counties Addiction Services Team (Fourcast)  -  (705) 876-1292 Narcotics Anonymous [...]

Sun Safety

Some employees spend a lot of time outside and it’s important for them to know how to protect themselves from the damaging rays of the sun. Below are a number of great links to quizzes and videos that you can use.   Sunsense Quiz from Canadian Cancer Society   Canadian Dermatology Association (CDA)   [...]


To promote the nutritional value of nuts, host a contest for which employees must guess the fat, sodium, and cholesterol content in a jar of nuts. Participants might be in for a surprise.  Provide free samples of recipes that call for different varieties of nuts.  Following the activity, distribute additional nutritional information on nuts that [...]

Place a Spotlight on Healthy Eateries in Your Area

To encourage employees to abandon high-fat foods in favour of healthier eating habits, create a listing of restaurants in your area that specialize in healthy, nutritious foods.  Incorporate this listing into a monthly newsletter, invite a healthy restaurant to cater a workplace event, or pass around sample menus from each establishment.   Source: Peterborough County-City [...]

It’s All on the Label (Kit)

Individuals who are familiar with the nutritional labels printed on food packaging have the ability to distinguish healthier foods from less healthy options.  It’s All on the Label is an activity that educates employees about food labels while providing a hands-on opportunity for employees to put their knowledge to the test.  It’s All on the [...]

Points for Nutrition (Kit)

Employees who are able to distinguish nutritious, healthy foods from less healthy options have the background knowledge required to assemble a well-balanced diet.  Using a fun, simple activity that takes place in your workplace cafeteria, Points for Nutrition awards employees who experiment with healthy food options.    Points for Nutrition takes place during an ordinary lunch [...]

Mocktail Party (Kit)

Wherever you look, there are refreshing beverages that do not contain alcohol.  The Mocktail Party is a fun workplace social event that promotes non-alcoholic mixed drinks, also known as “mocktails.”  Consider hosting this event before a meeting or following a presentation on safe drinking practices.  Visit the Peterborough County-City Health Unit’s website for great mocktail recipes:  [...]

Fitness Clean Up (Kit)

Walking, jogging, and club sports aren’t for everyone.  For individuals who prefer to take a more creative path towards physical fitness, there are many activities that combine exercise with other tasks.  The Fitness Clean-Up challenges employees to work together to collect litter from local green space.  In doing so, participants will be surprised to learn [...]

Scrabble Walk (Kit)

Employers and health promoters who devise ways to make exercise both fun and convenient for employees attain the best results when it comes to improving employees’ physical fitness.  The Scrabble Walk is a simple, 20-minute activity that pairs exercise with a familiar family game.  Participants may enjoy the walk so much that they decide to [...]

Spring Bike Tune-Up (Kit)

Just like automobiles, bicycles require regular maintenance.  And, like drivers, cyclists’ safety depends upon their vehicles’ proper functioning.  The Bike Tune-Up provides employees with hands-on help in making necessary and practical bike repairs in a convenient, comfortable environment.  Although coordinators should feel free to host the event in any season, springtime may be especially appropriate, [...]

Stair Trek Challenge (Kit)

Today’s employers should strive to encourage employees to take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator whenever possible: at work, at home, and in public places.  Over a period of one month, the Stair Trek Challenge promotes this simple, convenient exercise that employees can do in the comfort of the workplace. In this activity’s [...]

Walk a Mall in My Shoes (Kit)

Employers and health promoters who devise ways to make exercise both fun and convenient for employees attain the best results when it comes to improving employees’ physical fitness.  Walk a Mall in My Shoes is an easy, enjoyable activity for entry-level participants who are not accustomed to walking for fitness.  Your local shopping mall serves [...]

Healthy Eating Around the Clock (Kit)

For shiftworkers, health and well-being depend on eating habits that make the most of a busy schedule.  Using the Fact Sheet included below, design and facilitate a staff seminar that promotes healthy eating strategies especially designed for nighttime and evening employees.  As an added measure, consider distributing printed material on healthy eating tips.   Format [...]

Remind Employees of Smoke-Free Laws

Everyone can benefit from a friendly reminder once in a while.  Provide informational handouts on the effects of second hand smoke and the importance of smoke-free laws in pay stubs or pay cheque envelopes given to all employees.   Source:  Peterborough County-City Health Unit

Award Employees to Kick the Habit

Create incentive programs and recognition awards for employees who quit smoking or significantly reduce the amount of cigarettes they smoke daily.  With their permission, recognized employees may appear on a bulletin board or in a workplace newsletter.  Incentive programs may include additional benefits or privileges for employees who quit.   Source: County of Lambton Community [...]

Financial Assistance for Smoking Cessation Aids

Consider reimbursing employees for the cost of smoking cessation aids such as nicotine patches, gum, or inhaler with a prescription from their doctor.   Source:  Windsor-Essex County Health Unit

Actively Promote Your Company’s Health Benefit Plan

If your health benefit plan covers medications and other supports that may help employees quit smoking, make these benefits known to employees.  Create posters, pay-stub inserts, and other announcements that publicize these tools and strategies to interested workers. If your benefits plan does not include these, explore the feasibility of including coverage or subsidization for Nicotine Replacement [...]

Implement and Enforce Smoke-Free Workplace Policies

Create or revise comprehensive workplace smoke-free policies that go beyond the Smoke-Free Ontario Act which prohibits smoking in enclosed workplaces and work vehicles. For example, create polices in which smoking is not permitted within a nine metre radius surrounding any entrance, exit or air intake OR even better implement a 100% smoke-free property policy. Remember, [...]

Hit the Showers

As best as resources and space allow, consider installing showers in the workplace for employees who engage in physical activity before, during, or after the workday.  Employees who wish to break a sweat during work hours will appreciate the support.   Source:  County of Lambton Community Health Services Department

Make it Easier for Employees to Join a Fitness Club

Once again, employees who have expanded access to fitness opportunities and supports are more likely to engage in physical activity.  To this end, look into negotiating a reduced membership rate for employees at a local gym or fitness club.  Or, once employees provide proof that he or she has become a member, consider awarding them [...]

Provide Supports for Active Commuters

Having a designated space to park one’s bicycle goes a long way in encouraging employees to leave the car in the garage and cycle to work.  Consider installing bicycle racks adjacent to traditional parking spaces for employees who are active commuters.  Also, for those employees who walk to work, provide adequate locker and changing facilities [...]

Provide Incentives and Awards for Physical Activity

If you notice employees engaging in physical activity, consider awarding them with small fitness-related gifts and incentives that encourage them to keep up the good work.  Gift ideas for incentives might include water bottles, prepackaged healthy snacks, reflective arm bands, pedometers, and safety lights.  Fitness-savvy employees might also have the opportunity to enter a raffle [...]

Place a Spotlight on Fitness

Create awards or incentives that recognize employees who regularly engage in physical activity.  Consider similar accolades for employees who have just recently begun an exercise program or for those who have reached an important fitness goal. Source:  Brant County Health Unit

Help Employees Count Their Steps

Lend pedometers to employees who have pledged to walk a certain distance each day in order to improve their physical and mental wellness.  The pedometer will allow employees to count how many steps they’ve taken in a given day–and how many they have left to go!   Source:  Brant County Health Unit

Flexible Scheduling that Encourages Exercise

Develop flexible scheduling policies that allow employees to dedicate a few moments throughout the day to physical activity.  The adjusted work day and flex-time policies allow employees to work the standard number of hours on a daily basis, with flexible start and finish times within limits established by management.  More flexibility means that employees have [...]

A League of Their Own

Encourage physical activity and athletics among employees by helping to establish workplace sports leagues or walking clubs.  As the employer, you are in a position to take the lead.  Reserve outdoor recreational areas, create rosters, and provide sports equipment.  Just make sure to offer a variety of options for employees of different ages and abilities. [...]

Active Workplace Teams

Form workplace teams or hold family events to support increased levels of physical activity as well as the development of healthy relationships between employees and between family members. Try bowling, golf or softball. Also, consider forming groups for activities like cycling, Tai Chi, regular daily stretching or aerobics. Encourage walking groups, dancing groups or recreational [...]

Provide Staff with Outdoor Recreation Space

Encourage employees to use this space for physical activity before, during, or after work.  Given the size and suitability of the area, you may also want to provide sports equipment, such as soccer balls, volleyball nets, etc; or, encourage employees to bring these supplies from home. Source:  Brant County Health Unit

Incorporate Physical Activity into Recreational Events

Next time you plan a recreational event for employees, make exercise a key component of the day’s activities.  Invite employees to take a hike in the woods, enjoy an afternoon of skiing, go golfing, or participate in a walking fundraiser for charity.  Employees receive a double benefit.  They engage in physical activity while enjoying a [...]

Fast Food Awareness (Kit)

As an additional measure to encourage employees to make healthy food choices and avoid lunches that are high in fat, host an informational seminar on fast food.  Using the resources included below, facilitate a discussion on the nutritional value of fast food and alternative healthy lunch options.  Distribute printed materials on the nutritional value of [...]

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