Workplace Wellness

Categories of Wellness Activities to Include in Your Wellness Program

Written by Kate

In today’s work environment, increasing numbers of employees are exploring jobs with new employers. For companies that want to prevent employees from leaving, the ability to attract, retain, and engage those employees is critical to the organization’s success. A recent PwC Pulse Survey: Next in Work report found that 65% of employees seek a new job. Of the executives they spoke with, 88% said they see higher turnover than usual.

A Gallup State of the American Workplace Report found that “53% of employees say a role that allows them to have greater work-life balance and better personal well-being is ‘very important’ to them.” In the same report, only 58% of employees indicated having a wellness program as a benefit. Employers not offering wellness programs risk losing valuable employees and incurring the costs associated with attracting and hiring new staff.  

A robust and effective corporate wellness program touches on multiple aspects of employees’ lives – physical, mental, financial, occupational, and intellectual. The program should comprise various wellness activities that correspond to these categories. Many employers and employees report having a wellness offering that touches on one or two of the categories but not all.

When set up correctly, wellness programs can boost employee morale, increase employee engagement, enhance productivity, and foster collaboration and teamwork. A good wellness program will bring the employer a positive return on investment (ROI).

Now more than ever, prioritizing employee health and well-being by encouraging employees to participate in wellness activities is critical to employers who want to be successful in the long term. Employees need stimulation, appreciation, and compensation to feel good about their work, the environment in which they’re performing it, how they’re doing it, and how their jobs make them feel outside the office.

What is a Wellness Activity? 

First, let’s define wellness. At IncentFit, wellness is “a regular practice of activities, choices, and lifestyles that lead someone to a state of complete well-being.” Wellness is more than just nutrition and exercise. It’s diverse and looks different for everyone, yet it has one common purpose: achieving a balanced lifestyle that results in happier, healthier, less stressful lives. 

A wellness activity is any undertaking that helps achieve the goal of supporting a healthy, thriving, and resilient workforce. Whether it’s a physical activity like exercise, a 5-minute meditation during the day to relieve stress, or attending a financial planning session, wellness activities are the stepping stones to achieving overall health.

They help create healthy habits that individuals can use in their daily routines to develop and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Read on to learn more about the categories of wellness benefits and some ideas you can implement to encourage participation in wellness programs. 

Five Categories of Wellness Benefits and Some Activities to Get You Started


Activities that address employees’ physical needs include exercise, meal planning, or suggesting ideas for getting the appropriate amount of sleep each night. For example, organizations could: 

  • provide healthy snack options when people are in the office
  • encourage employees to hold one walking meeting a week
  • create an online employee cookbook of healthy favorite meals
wellness activities include sleeping


Burnout and stress in the workplace aren’t strictly a result of work-related issues. Employees who are parents, caregivers to aging parents, going through their own health challenges, or experiencing personal financial or legal challenges will be prone to emotional/mental stress. A good wellness program offers support and resources to help employees through challenging times. Some resources and options employers might consider implementing include:

  • sponsor a free or discounted subscription to a meditation and relaxation app such as Calm or Aura
  • offer flexible work hours to allow employees to care for their children, parents, or their own medical needs
  • host an online session that features a brief presentation by a motivational speaker or video on overcoming obstacles, managing stress, or identifying local community support, followed by comments and discussion. 


There may be indications that inflation is finally decreasing, but costs continue to rise in many areas, including child care, veterinary bills, groceries, home heating oil, and healthcare costs. Some ways that employers can help mitigate financial stress to employees include: 

  • provide opportunities to purchase reduced-rate pet insurance to prevent extraordinary veterinary expenses for pet owners
  • offer the benefit of backup care through to allow employees to work without worry when their primary care provider is unavailable
  • allow for remote or hybrid work to help save employees gas and have more time at home, or offer commuter benefits to help cover costs associated with commuting to/from the office.
financial wellness activities


Today’s workforce, especially younger generations, places great value on feeling inspired and fulfilled by their work. Employees who aren’t happy and who don’t feel like they’re being invested in may already be one foot out the door. Some ways to address their desire to be inspired and fulfilled might be: 

  • create a culture of learning by providing on-site lunch and learn sessions, and include some facilitated by coworkers
  • coordinate community volunteering opportunities to promote team building and bonding while making a difference to others
  • celebrate milestones and special occasions or successes together


If employees are going to thrive, they mustn’t feel stagnant. Offering ample opportunities for employees to experience new and different perspectives, work with various teams and team members, or participate in continuing education and professional development are vital pillars of providing intellectual wellness opportunities. Companies might want to consider the following: 

  • encourage cross-training or shadowing employees in other departments to facilitate understanding among teams and promote a culture of learning
  • provide opportunities for internal transfers that leverage employees’ skills and talent if the current role isn’t allowing them to shine
  • establish a budget for tuition reimbursement or professional development so employees can continue to learn and grow

The key to wellness activities is offering a wide variety that appeals to everyone and is inclusive of all. When employees arrive at work, they still wear other hats in their personal lives. Organizations must recognize the whole person and foster an environment supporting employees’ well-being across the above mentioned categories. Worksite wellness is essential to the employee experience and attracting future talent. Adding employee wellness activities in the workplace doesn’t have to be complicated, expensive, or time-consuming. 

Corporate Wellness Benefit Managers having a discussion while looking at an electronic tablet.

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