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7 Steps to Health and Wellness Programs for Group Meetings

December 29, 2016

Companies collectively spend billions of dollars every year promoting health and wellness programs and with good reason, the pay-offs can be huge as illness is just too costly.  According to the Centers for Disease Control, stress can lead to chronic disease and chronic disease can cost trillions. In fact the CDC estimates that work lost due to sick days and work related illness – like stress, costs companies a quarter trillion dollars each year.

In an effort to combat the high costs associated with sick days, companies are incorporating health and wellness programs into their everyday work world and their corporate meetings. To help you maximize the benefits of health and wellness programs for meeting attendees, we’ve complied the following list, which you can implement at your next destination meeting:

Get physical
Adding a few physical activity breaks during long stretches of sitting will help attendees’ re-focus and jump-start productivity. Try scheduling short activity breaks that force attendees to get up and move around. Give pedometers and create a contest to see which individual or group has logged the most steps during the day. Crank up the music to get your group up and moving. Schedule breakout sessions, which involve walking and talking rather than simply sitting and listening. Partner with a local fitness center to bring in a trainer to host group Zumba, tai chi or energetic yoga moves. Exercise is a key component of physical fitness and mental acumen.

Quiet Walks
Help attendees tap into their own creative genius through guided “silent walks”. Newport Beach, CA is fortunate in that it offers numerous walking and hiking trails along with expansive beaches where attendees can experience the powerful beauty of nature. During a guided “silent walk” attendees are asked to not speak or interact with one another in order to allow nature to fill the space and heighten inner creativity.

Step outside
Nothing beats fresh air and a change of scenery to break up meeting monotony. Fresh air or improved air quality can boost the cognitive function of people working inside buildings, according to a study from Syracuse University. While there are many ways to boost productivity, some are much more involved than others, so for a quick, inexpensive fix, try opening the windows or stepping outside. According to the study at Syracuse University people that work in an unpolluted environment with proper ventilation, have greater cognitive abilities. So breathe deep, and enjoy the mental perks fresh air delivers.

Ditch the caffeine
Caffeine, is simply a short-term pick me up, not a natural or healthy energy booster. Try getting a bit creative by offering mid-meeting hand or neck massages, stimulating mind games or, for and extra boost of endorphins, consider hiring a comedian! You may even want to go in the opposite direction by playing relaxing music and taking a 15-minute yoga or meditation break, both of which deliver oxygenated blood flow that stimulates the mind. Without caffeine your employees may discover that they end the day with more energy instead of less.

Go Light, Go Organic
Balance is important when it comes to diet. One of the main culprits of sluggish, sleepy and just plain non-productive attendees is overeating. One way to do avoid the mid-day food coma is to keep portions bite-sized or serve smaller portions in creative containers. Most hotels will work with planners to develop a variety of healthy, organic, gluten free and either plant-based or vegan meal options, provided they are given ample notice.

Educate
Bring in a health coach or holistic doctor who can share the benefits of health and wellness, proper nutrition, and exercise. Set up brief Q&A sessions with the health expert. Try quizzing the audience and offer ‘health based’ prizes for correct answers.

Get Social
Send a daily healthy tip or a ‘did you know’ fact to meeting attendees via text, tweet, post or email.

Similar to corporate social responsibility programs over the past few years, health and wellness initiatives are quickly becoming cornerstones of responsible meetings and events. Not only are they mentally and physically stimulating, enlightening and fun but they also offer an opportunity for nontraditional networking.

Adding a health and wellness component to your meeting is a natural when you hold it in a destination like Newport Beach CA. Year-round mild temperatures, miles of beaches, the largest recreational harbor on the west coast and plenty of hiking and biking trails make it easy to incorporate health and wellness initiatives.

When you’re ready to begin planning your next group meeting, connect with Visit Newport Beach, the destination marketing organization for Newport Beach, CA. Visit Newport Beach opens the doors to this Pacific paradise with destination expertise, customized site visits, strong partnerships and resources that ease the planning process. Come experience the many benefits of holding your next group meeting in Newport Beach, CA

Written by Visit Newport Beach Meetings

As a not-for-profit Destination Marketing Organization (DMO), Visit Newport Beach provides destination expertise, customized site visits, strong partnerships and resources tailored specifically to the needs of meeting planners and their clients.

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