A wellbeing challenge for your company is a great way to boost engagement, increase wellbeing or raise money for charity. Here is a list of 10 wellbeing challenge ideas you can start at your organisation in no time at all.
Why Does a Wellbeing Challenge Help?
As humans, we will always have what’s known as a value-action gap. This is where are actions don’t line up with our beliefs. For example, I bet we can all think of a time where we knew going out for a walk, run or bike ride would be good for us, but we still decided to let Netflix tick over to that next episode, because that was the easy choice.
Adding a challenge which involves competition or collaboration into this equation completely changes this, as other dynamics are now at play too, such as social accountability.
As much as we like to think we’re super smart humans who are in control of our actions, adding a challenge into the mix does wonders for exercise motivation.
1. Steps Challenge
A steps challenge is a brilliant way to encourage more movement with participants.
Increasing the distance you walk every day has been proven to have a number of benefits including improved mental health, reduced risk of serious illness and increased engagement and productivity.
Most of your participants will have access a steps tracker such as Fitbit, a Garmin watch or using the built in ones on Apple and Android phones.
You can then track the steps progress throughout the challenge and reward the winners.
You could use a spreadsheet for this, or a more engaging platform.
We may be biased, but we think Myles Challenges is a great app for this!
2. Habit Streaks
The key to sustained wellness is forming new habits. Consistency over intensity.
Forming new habits is difficult though, which is why we normally opt for short bursts and then give up soon after.
Repetition plays a key role when forming habits because it breeds what neurologists call “automaticity”. In other words, repeat a behaviour enough times and it eventually becomes your default choice.
Setting a challenge where participants have to complete a healthy action every day such as walking, reading or doing some exercise is an effective and fun way to encourage sustained healthy lifestyles.
3. Distance Target (BHAG)
Having a goal is a fundamental part of any motivation.
It keeps people on track, aligned and rewards them with dopamine hits every time they get closer to that goal.
A BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) is a great way to motivate and inspire long term wellness with employees.
Set a distance target, that people complete individually or as part of a team and then track as people walk, run, cycle, swim or row their way towards that target.
Dopamine and wellness for everyone!
4. 7 Hours Sleep Challenge
Getting less than 7 hours sleep a night on a regular basis is linked to multiple health problems.
Around a third of us don’t get enough sleep each night.
Setting a sleep challenge to get at least 7 hours sleep each night is a great way to gamify and incentivise this healthy habit.
You could set this up as a streaks based challenge, or just track the amount of nights people got a healthy amount of sleep and show this on a leaderboard.
5. Water Leaderboard
We all know the importance of drinking water, but the majority of us still live in a state of constant dehydration.
A mere 1% decrease in body water content can negatively effect our brain power and our mood.
The recommended amount of water a day is 2.5 litres for males and 2 litres for females.
You could keep track of this with a leaderboard, counting the amount of days people hit their recommended water intake.
Meditation provides you with sense of calm, peace and balance that benefits both your emotional wellbeing and your physical health.
Regular, short meditations are a fantastic basis for a company wellness challenge.
Simple breathing meditations, or guided meditations are a low effort way to start forming this habit.
Set a goal for the amount of sessions across a specified duration and challenge your employees to reach this target.
7. Total Activity Duration
Everyone enjoys getting active in different ways, such as rowing, running, playing football or just taking the dog for a walk!
Creating a challenge tracking the number of minutes people are active for is a fantastic formula for an inclusive challenge.
You could set a target number of minutes and see who reaches it first, or you could set a daily goal and track the number of days where people meet this.
8. Start a Sports League
Sports are a fantastic way to build meaningful connections and stay fit.
Creating an internal league for sports such as football, badminton, netball or basketball provides a fun fitness challenge for employees and allows people to meet colleagues.
You could even incentivise this with prizes for the winning team!
9. Gratitude Diary
Studies have shown that reduce encouraging employees to spend a few minutes a day reflecting on what they’re grateful for, can reduce incivility, gossip, and ostracism.
Challenge your employees to fill out a gratitude diary every day for a set period of time.
10. Smoking Cessation
Many people want to stop smoking but aren’t able to.
A workplace challenge around this gives employees some social motivation as they’re doing it as part of a group of other people who are there to provide peer support and accountability.
Encouraging people to stop smoking improves workplace wellbeing, resulting in a happier and healthier workforce.