5 Winter Wellness Ideas to Keep Employees Active When the Temperatures Get Cold


It’s getting cooler in Massachusetts, winter is settling in for the long haul. The days are shorter and the warm sunny weather disappears. The motivation to exercise can be tough. But, that doesn’t mean that your worksite wellness efforts need to go into hibernation mode. Rather than give in to the snow and cold, now is the time to embrace the beauty of freshly fallen snow and cooler temperatures, and think creatively and strategically about ways to keep your employees healthy and active during the winter.

Continue your organization’s dedication to health and wellness by incorporating some of these strategies to promote your goal of supporting employees in increasing their amount of physical activity even during the winter months.

  1. Provide access to exercise equipment at work:  Think about ways that you can create an environment where employee can exercise. Examples include providing exercise equipment on-site for employee use and a dedicated room for exercise or stretching. Bring in an on-site group exercise teacher to conduct exercise classes. If you don’t have the ability to create an on-site exercise facility at your site, think about ways that you could partner with the community and allow employees to attend exercise classes at an offsite location.
  2. Make it a social event: Encourage employees to find an exercise/walking buddy to keep them motivated. Organize brisk walks or lunch-hour walking clubs during the day to keep employees moving. Initiate a walking challenge or join an indoor sports league.
  3. Promote incidental exercise: Use messaging strategies to encourage employees to walk more. Promote taking the stairs, walking to lunch and/or parking further from the office or train station.
  4. Prevent the spread of cold and flu at the workplace: Help employees reduce exposure to colds and the flu. Promote vaccination by offering an on-site flu clinic or partnering with a community flu clinic and encouraging employees to attend. Other strategies include initiating a policy for employees to stay home when sick and encouraging frequent hand washing and good hygiene. Click here for posters, brochures and fact sheets on flu prevention.
  5. Promote be safe be seen! Educate employees about the importance of being safe and being seen if exercising outdoors when the weather is wet and dark. Help employees be safe by encouraging them to wear bright clothing, sticking to well-list footpaths and roads, wearing reflective clothing, and when possible exercising with a friend.

For additional resources visit the Healthy Workplace Toolbox!