Looking for a fun & competitive way to help your coworkers live a healthier lifestyle and achieve their personal health & fitness goals? How about a team health challenge! Here are some basic steps to create a team health challenge. Have fun and be creative – these are only suggestions!

  1. Decide on the focus of your challenge. Will it be a challenge focused on helping your coworkers improve their eating habits, physical fitness, or both? I’ve found in the past that challenges focused on both nutrition & fitness are great ways to engage a large team with varying personal health goals!
  2. Decide on the length of your challenge. 6-8 weeks usually works well
  3. Invite your coworkers to join the challenge! Decide If you want to open up the challenge to your whole company/department, or if you want to include only the employees on your direct team. Larger challenges may offer more competition, but it can also be fun to compete against the coworkers you work closest with!
  4. Elect a challenge administrator. This person will be responsible for keeping score. Create a template for each employee to keep track of their points. At the end of the week, each participant will send the administrator their points for the week. The administrator should send weekly scoreboard updates to the participants!
  5. Decide on the winner’s incentive! What’s a challenge without a competitive prize? Perhaps there is room in your department’s budget for a small prize? Gift cards to health or fitness stores make great prizes! You could have all participants donate $5 or $10 into a prize pool, or simply create a fun trophy for the winner!
  6. Create the basic rules for your challenge! Before creating the rules, think about the overall health levels of your teammates. If you work with a group of marathoners & cross-fit enthusiasts, your rules may look different than if you work with a group of people who are looking to lose 5 lbs and work out 1-2 times a week. Try to think of rules that will motive people of all health backgrounds. Here are rules that have worked well in my past challenges:
    1. Eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day (1 point per day if achieved)
    2. Drink 64oz of water a day (1 point per day if achieved)
    3. Limit 1 soda per week (1 point per week if achieved)
    4. Limit 1 fried food item a week (1 point per week if achieved)
    5. Eat gluten free Mon-Fri (1 point per day if achieved)
    6. Eliminate added sugars Mon-Fri (1 point per day if achieved)
    7. Limit 1 dessert Mon-Fri (1 point per week if achieved)
    8. 3 alcoholic drinks (or fewer!) a week (1 point per week if achieved)
    9. Workout 5 times a week (min 30 mins/workout) (1 point per workout)
    10. Take the stairs at least 1 time per day Mon-Fri (1 point per day if achieved)
  7. Create a weekly bonus rule (optional!). Ask each participant to think of a bonus challenge. Each week, the participants will get an extra 3 points for achieving the weekly challenge! Here are some examples:
    1. Run 15 miles throughout the week
    2. Do 100 pushups throughout the week
    3. Do the raw diet for 3 days (not easy!!)
    4. Give up caffeine for a full week (warning – may cause cranky coworkers!)
    5. Conduct 2 walking meetings during the week (instead of sitting in a conference room, conduct your meeting over a 30 minute stroll outside!
    6. Walk/bike to work 2 times/week
    7. Eat paleo for a full week!
  8. Create a final challenge (optional!). At the start of the challenge, ask each coworker to create a personal goal. The goals could be something that they will work on throughout the challenge, or something they will train for, and be able to achieve at the end of the challenge. Each coworker who successfully completes their final challenge will receive 10 bonus points! Examples:
    1. Run a half marathon
    2. Lose 5 lbs
    3. Eliminate processed sugars, soy & gluten from their diet
    4. Complete 50 pushups in a row
    5. Complete 5 pull-ups
  9. Have fun!

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