1. Although there is no official data tracking prevalence of employee gardens at work, overall, gardening is on the rise in America. According to the National Gardening Association, roughly 40 million American households planned some type of garden in 2010 which represents an increase of 10% more than in 2008. Employees with access to gardens at work report benefits ranging from improved teamwork (something about digging in the dirt pulls together teams), to improved productivity when they are at their desks.
2. Consider the following tips before you break ground on your first employee garden: (1) assess employee interest to make sure your workforce has an appetite for cultivating and maintaining a garden, (2) dedicate funding for the project; it shouldn`t break the bank, but researching costs and dedicating dollars will help ensure success of the plot(s), (3) appoint a gardening guru who will coordinate activities around planting, maintaining, and harvesting, and (4) decide how to divvy up the harvest BEFORE it`s time to pick; considering donating at least some of the produce to local food banks.
3. If you`re questioning how an employee garden can fit into your overall worksite wellness strategy, consider this: for a 170 pound person, an hour of gardening can burn more than 350 calories.
4. Every body`s doing it. Employee gardening, that is. Such notable organizations as Yahoo!, Google, PepsiCo, Aveda, IDEXX, Kohls, and Best Buy have adopted employee gardens into their employee health strategy. In 2010, Human Resource Executive magazine named employee gardens as one of its top five employee benefits from 2009.
The National Institute for Fitness and Sport is dedicated to enhancing human health, physical fitness and athletic performance through research, education and service for people of all ages and abilities. The NIFS mission is carried out through a variety of departments, including Athletic Performance, Corporate Fitness Management, Educational Services, Fitness Center, IU Medical Group at NIFS and Youth Development.
Recent studies show that more and more businesses, large and small, are adopting a variety of wellness solutions designed to improve the health of their work force. One such approach is corporate gardens. Providing employees with the space and time to cultivate and manage a garden at work can provide numerous benefits to the employer, the employees and to the community. It is also a fairly low-cost initiative both to start and to maintain. Watch Video
Gardening at work? Believe it or not, corporate gardens are a growing trend throughout the country. In this month`s Healthy Workforce segment, we show you how employees at Angie`s List are reaping the benefits of having green thumbs. Watch Video
Caregivers in the Workforce
It`s a subject that not many want to discuss: caregiving in the work force. But most people will become a caregiver at some point in their life. The task can affect your career, health, even your bottom line. In this month`s healthy workforce, an organization is working toward preparing future caregivers and easing that burden. Watch Video
The Importance of 'Financial Fitness' to Your Health
When you think of wellness, most of us tend to focus on the physical aspect of wellbeing. But financial wellness is just as important in our overall wellness and plays a large part in our health. In this month's Healthy Workforce Segment, we show you how a fitness center is incorporating financial wellness into their programs. Watch Video
Choosing The Right Fitness Center
The beginning of the New Year is traditionally the most popular time to join a fitness center. But with so many options out there, how do you know the facility is right for you? In this month`s healthy workforce, we give you a checklist of how to narrow your search. Watch Video
Monarch Beverage Expanding On-site Clinic
Construction is underway at Indianapolis-based Monarch Beverage Co. to expand its on-site health clinic. The goal of the project is two-fold...to help reduce health care costs and provide convenient and affordable health care for employees. In this month`s Healthy Workforce we show you how the state`s largest distributor of beer and wine continues to make a big investment in wellness. Watch Video
Healthy Snacking at Work
You spend a great deal of time at your workplace. You likely bring or buy your lunch, but what do you do for a snack? Before you reach for a candy bar or bag of chips at the office vending machine, the National Institute For Fitness and Sport and Whole Foods Market have some tips on what kind of snacks you should be keeping at your desk. Watch Video
The Benefits of a Benefit Service Company
Last year, the National Institute for Fitness and Sport hired a professional employer organization to handle their human resources, payroll and benefits services. Indianapolis-based WorkSmart Systems Inc. was founded in 1998 and serves more than 300 client companies in 37 states. As health care costs continue to rise, WorkSmart encourages individual employers to drive costs down through wellness programs and practicing health care consumerism. Watch Video
Battling Childhood Obesity in Indiana
September is national childhood obesity awareness month - a good time to create healthy eating and physical activity habits for children and adults. A recent study released showed Indiana was one of the top 10 obese states in the nation. So what can we do to avoid becoming a statistic? Watch Video
Pilates for Older Adults
More than two decades ago, Methodist Health Foundation and former department store L.S. Ayres partnered to bring a national educational and wellness organization to Indianapolis. This month's healthy workforce spotlights OASIS, which promotes successful aging.
ActiveIndy Tours touts itself as the only company in Indianapolis offering daily, guided city tours. The startup is founded on the principle of getting customers from place to place at "the human pace." In this month's Healthy Workforce we show you why the tours are viewed as "an exercise in disguise." Watch Video
The Booming Business of Farmers' Markets
A local, organic food movement has made its way to Indiana. Hoosiers are increasingly more interested in learning about where their food comes from. The result has been an increase in the popularity of your local farmers' market. In this month's Healthy Workforce, we shed some light on the growing business. Watch Video
Governor Daniels' Workout
This month's Healthy Workforce focuses on making time to work out even with the most hectic of work schedules. Who knows that better than Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels? Watch Video
What's a great way to save on gas, get regular exercise and spend some time outside? Bike commuting. In this month's Healthy Workforce segment we present the case for more two- wheeled transportation. Watch Video
Workout at Work
It's no surprise that many office workers spend a majority of their day sitting in front of a computer. In our Healthy Workforce segment, if you are stuck behind a desk, there are some simple exercises that you can do to produce some surprisingly healthy results. Watch Video
Giving Employees Healthy Options
When employers build a worksite wellness strategy, the two common focus areas for their initiatives are nutrition and exercise. We also see companies offerings tobacco cessation, stress resilience, financial fitness and other topics. Diversity in programming is important. Employees will appreciate the choices and the support. And, in the end, they're more likely to stick with healthy choices when they experience a variety of different supports in their work environment. Watch Video
Recent studies recommend about 115 minutes, or nearly 2 hours, of exercise per week which may come difficult for people who work all day sitting at a desk. In this month's Healthy Workforce, we'll explore a move that could help workers combat that sedentary behavior: walking workstations. Watch Video
During tough economic times, school districts have been forced to examine every cost as they work to balance their budgets. One area that traditionally draws consideration for reduction is physical education. Watch Video
Corporations can benefit in many ways by supporting local wellness initiatives. Ultimately, collaborations can lead to financial success for all parties involved. Watch Video
Benefits of Giving Back
Many of the benefits of employees giving back to their communities are well know, but the business benefits of a company's philanthropic efforts are perhaps less understood. Leaders at the National Institute for Fitness and Sport say the “feel good” is only part of the benefit of giving back. Watch Video
Innovation in Workplace Wellness
Wondering how to create a workplace wellness program that is exciting, effective and within budget? Expert Melanie Roberts from the National Institute for Fitness and Sport says innovation is key to finding success in the wellness arena. Watch Video
Many companies would like to initiate a workplace wellness program, but unfortunately, financial resources are not available. Luckily, there are many free tools that companies can use to kick-off a wellness program. Watch Video
Worksite Fitness Centers
Melanie Roberts, Director of Educational Services, National Institute for Fitness and Sport | Sam Stewart, Human Resources Director, Republic National Distributing Company Watch Video
Pay to Play
Melanie Roberts, Director of Educational Services, National Institute for Fitness and Sport Watch Video
Start the New Year the Right "Weigh"
Bethany Garrity, Director of Corporate Fitness Management, National Institute for Fitness and Sport | Callie Johnson, BS, Wellness Program Manager, National Institute for Fitness and Sport, and Diamond Chain Company Watch Video
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