Upon entering the building where I was about to lead a six-week wellness program at the University, I was greeted by some colourful graphics on the elevator doors. The message suggested I should take the stairs. So I did. I’m kind of obedient that way.
Imagine my delight, when facing me on each landing was a gigantic mural of verdant green nature scenes carrying me up the otherwise grey stairwell.
And that’s not all! The risers on the stairs had words printed on them to further encourage me.
“Small steps make big differences.”
“For a better today and a healthier tomorrow, thank-you for taking the stairs.”
“7 minutes of stair climbing a day protects your heart.”
“Congratulations! You’re halfway to the top.”
I was so excited to see this display, besides the huffing and puffing, I was grinning all the way up.
Every small thing we do makes a difference – positively or negatively. What kind of culture exists where you work? Candy and cookies, or ‘let’s take the stairs’?
How do you create a wellness culture? This is simplifying it, but here are some ideas, small and large:
- hold walking or standing meetings
- provide fitness, yoga and/or meditation rooms and programs
- reward balance versus overwork
- set group goals with accountability partners
- organize lunch ‘n learns
- block email outside of work hours
- remove vending machines
- set up wellness bulletin boards
- schedule work meetings outside of lunch hour
A wellness culture makes it easier to be more balanced and healthy. Employees feel supported. What would you like to see happen in your workplace, or in your family? What part can you play? It should be noted I am not alone in the stairwell. The initiative is working. I applaud whoever is responsible for this action in the General Services Building. Just one thing, my program is on the fifth floor, (puff puff) and all that encouragement stops on the fourth floor. I could use a little more help