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8 Creative Ways to Keep Your Staff Healthy
Elise Craig

If you're Google or Facebook, you can give your staff fancy gyms, personal trainers, and boatloads of healthy free food to help them get – or stay – fit. The average small business? Not so much.

But even if a fleet of treadmills and an organic chef aren’t in your budget, you can and should encourage employees to take their health seriously. Sure, there are cost benefits if your team stays productive more days each year, but there are also benefits to getting everyone together to work on a shared goal. Here are eight ways to create a healthier office.

1. Sweat together

The staff at, a Chicago-based comparison shopping site for credit card processing fees, plays exercise videos in the office and gets everyone to work out together. They even Skype in a colleague in Bulgaria to do it with them. “It’s hilarious,” says Sheel Mohnot, the company’s “business development and partnership ninja.” Not only that, it also helps with team building. “It’s one of the things that we truly get to do together, as a whole group,” he says.

2. Help your staff kick bad habits

As a small company, didn’t have a ton of money to spend to promote a healthy lifestyle. So they focused on small initiatives that could have a bigger impact, like offering free nicotine patches to team members who want to quit smoking, installing software on employee computers to remind them to stretch during the day, and starting a weight loss program using a free iPhone app called LoseIt! The app worked so well that just four employees lost a collective 125 pounds. “I highly recommend it,” says Marketing Manager Phil Sharp.

3. Have a potluck

The Center for Financial Planning’s “Souper Thursdays” program actually earned the Southfield, MI-based company the American Heart Association’s Workplace Innovation Award in 2010. Twice a month during the winter, two team members pair up to make soup for the whole group, and the company collects donations to raise money for charity. Figuring out whose turn it is to cook leads to playful office banter, and the meal promotes “increased interaction, camaraderie and last but not least, a healthy lunch,” says Financial Planner Laurie Renchik.

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