We all know the statistics. Over one-third of U.S. adults are overweight or obese, which is costly in terms of employees' healthcare and productivity. That's why a worksite weight-loss challenge is worth the investment. A well-designed program can provide the motivation and encouragement employees need to make positive lifestyle changes and effectively lose weight. This guide will help you start a successful weight-loss challenge at your workplace. Though any time of year is a fine time to start, many people resolve to lose weight in the New Year, making January the perfect month to implement your Challenge.
When Your Employees "Lose", It's A "Win" For Everyone!
The camaraderie and support of workplace weight loss challenges can make dropping pounds a lot more fun and a little less like work. You can help your employees "lose it" (weight, that is!) and stay healthy. Here's how:
A weight-loss challenge should last 12-16 weeks. This is generally long enough for participants to see results and make lasting lifestyle changes.
You can choose to hold an individual or a team challenge. Both have benefits.
Individual: participants proceed in their own way and aren't affected by lagging team members.
Team: there is more motivation and accountability, and better odds of winning. Have each team choose a leader who will be responsible for communicating program updates and issues with their team.
Announce your program with the Weight-Loss Challenge Event Poster, which allows you to write in where and when you're holding the first weigh-in. Also utilize internal newsletters, email, cork boards, intranet, or other resources for company-wide communication.
Since weight loss is accomplished best by diet and exercise, supply educational tools to help participants get started and succeed.
To record progress in a weight-loss challenge, every participant must weigh in. Weigh-ins should be done on the same scale, on the same day, at the same time. Weekly weigh-ins are most common. However, you could have weigh-ins at the start and completion of the program, at every four-week mark, or once a week.
The objective of a weight-loss challenge is to encourage people to lose weight in a healthy way. Too much emphasis on losing the most pounds might encourage crash dieting, which can be very unhealthy. The best way to run a weight-loss challenge is to set a goal for each participant of no more than two pounds per week, which is what most health experts recommend. To enforce this, let participants know that any weight loss over 24 pounds for a 12-week program, 28 pounds for 14 weeks, etc., will not be counted in the challenge.
Most successful worksite weight-loss programs include group activities, such as meetings, lunches, and workouts before or after work. Lunch events can be as simple as encouraging everyone to bring a healthy lunch and eat together in the break room, or holding a Lunch and Learn where participants take home a healthy message.
REWARDS AND INCENTIVES
You don't have to break the bank, but participation is greater when prizes are involved—for winners as well as for progress along the way. Your participants will be thrilled with our incentives such as Stainless Steel Water Bottles With Carabiners or Lunch Bags. Use our 50-Piece Incentive Pack and consider raffling a large-ticket item as well, such as an iPod, Kindle, or gym membership.
It’s easy to help employees get motivated to slim down & shape up!
Make Losing Fun! Enable Employees To Work Toward Attaining A Healthy Weight.
• Get Started, Stay The Course
The “Complete Weight Loss Guide & Recorder” (ITP-151T) has everything to get employees started, including a food and activity tracker–a proven aid for weight loss–and a nutritional guide so recipients can track the calories and fat they consume!
• For Good Measure
Body mass index (BMI) and waist measurements are considered better indicators of weight issues than just pounds. Distribute our Tape Measure with BMI?Scale (OS-6519) to let participants know how they measure up.
weight-loss challenge timetable & checklist
3 to 6 Weeks Before
Obtain management approval
Decide when to launch your program. Right after New Year’s is a great time for a health-improvement program
Create your program and reward design
3 Months Before
Order promotional materials, incentive items, and prizes
Get paperwork ready
1 Month Before
Publicize the event
Begin sign up
1 Day to 1 Week Before
Confirm with and remind all participants
Hand out trackers and/or pedometers
Hand out and collect pre-surveys and consent forms (if applicable)
Monitor participant or team progress
Provide encouraging communication and team reports (if applicable)
Distribute incentives and rewards weekly or monthly for individual and team successes
Hold a special event to announce winners and present prizes
Announce challenge winners in a company-wide email or newsletter
Get participant feedback so you can improve your program for next time
EXPANDING WAISTLINES = HIGHER HEALTHCARE COST
Overweight and obesity are known risk factors for diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, some forms of cancer, pregnancy complications, depression, high blood cholesterol and more.
A 2010 Duke University study found that the cost to employers of obesity among full-time employees was $73.1 billion a year. Workplace obesity prevention programs, like the Weigh To Go! Weight Loss Challenge, can be an effective way for employers to reduce obesity and lower their health care costs, cut absenteeism and boost employee productivity.