wellness 101

Workplace Health and Wellness Calendar 2022

blog author
Natalie
Dec 10, 2021

If you manage employee health and wellness benefits, a wellness calendar is a helpful tool you don't want to overlook! Creating a calendar you can share internally with your company leadership and employees creates transparency around important health initiatives. It also shows you value keeping your company healthy and thriving.

Start 2022 off on the right foot with a plan to promote relevant health observances at your company throughout the year.

What is a health observance?

Health observances are nationally and internationally celebrated dates that raise awareness about various components of health. This includes anything from understanding common health conditions to learning healthy habits or cutting back on habits that don't serve you. Focusing on health observances in your wellness calendar allows you to educate, engage, and raise awareness for important health topics.

In addition to educating, health observance dates usually aim to mobilize support towards a given cause or topic. This social call to action allows us to tackle common health and wellness struggles head-on, while staying connected in our human experience.

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Why are health observances important?

Health observances are a great tool to rally folks together around a cause that's important to you and your employees. They are an opportunity to provide educational resources and generally strengthen your wellness programming. By fostering awareness, employees can take charge of their health and keep their wellness journey visible. When socially connected in this journey, employees will feel supported, uplifted, and motivated to act towards change.

Health observances combine awareness, education, and social connection to keep health and wellness at the forefront of your employees' minds year-round.

We recommend using these dates as a key strategy to enhance your wellness programming.

How can I incorporate health observances into my wellness programming?

Now that you've got a bit of background, let's talk about how to integrate health observance dates into a holistic employee wellness program. We recommend starting simple and creating a wellness calendar.

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What is a wellness calendar?

A wellness calendar is a shared annual company calendar used to communicate important health and wellness dates, initiatives, and programs. Sharing the calendar across the company ensures that every employee knows what to expect for their wellness programming throughout the year, as well as how they'll be able to participate. Calendars can contain important dates, events, and reminders for health benefits and any other wellness programming you might run.

A wellness calendar is a great way to spread awareness of initiatives that matter to you and your employees. We recommend choosing dates that are inclusive of your employee population and featuring relevant wellness topics. In addition, you can highlight healthy habits that you'd like to foster, like emphasizing Gratitude Month in November, for example.

What should I consider when creating a wellness calendar?

Here are a few things to keep in mind as you build out a wellness calendar at your organization:

  • Cadence - Employees are most likely to be engaged in wellness initiatives if they are thoughtfully spaced out. We suggest building in breaks in between any health-based initiatives at your organization and being mindful of any busy seasons in your industry. By fitting in breaks, you'll also give employees an opportunity to get excited for the next upcoming initiative while avoiding burnout.
  • Balance - Make sure to strike a balance between how you're engaging employees in health observances. Adopting a combination of events, challenges, and wellness reminders keeps things fresh and exciting. Plan the year ahead of time to make sure your annual wellness calendar feels complete and holistic.
  • Communication - Your method of communication will make a big difference in your wellness programming's success. Think about which medium is most likely to be most effective at reaching the employees at your organization. E-mail, company portals, company calendars, Slack or MS Teams, and print are a few examples. Make sure communications about your wellness calendar are clear, concise, and engaging.
  • Relevance - Don't forget to make sure the wellness calendar you're planning is relevant to your employees. If the topics are of interest, employees are more likely to participate and genuinely show interest. It's a good idea to survey employees on their health and wellness interests before getting started to make sure you're heading in the right direction.

What can I include in a wellness calendar?

When building out your annual wellness calendar, we recommend including concrete dates such as health benefit information, company holidays, and pre-planned wellness initiatives. Then, we suggest choosing various health observances you want to promote throughout the year and creating a balanced calendar of ideas!

Try combining a health observance date with an activity or intentional communication strategy. This can be the most effective way to get employees engaged, motivated, and active with their health and wellness.

Here are a few fun ways you can try out using health observance dates at your organization:

Run a one-day event.

A one-day event is a great way to foster awareness about a particular topic. Make sure to communicate the initiative ahead of time, why it matters, and what you'll be doing to celebrate!

For example, September 22nd is Car-Free Day. Ask employees to ditch their vehicle and commute using an active method like biking or walking. You can also propose an activity goal of 10,000 steps for that day.

Learn more about how to run an activity or step-based challenge on MoveSpring.

Host an extended challenge.

An extended challenge is designed to encourage employees to take actions that benefit their health or foster habit change. We recommend keeping challenges under 45 days to keep participants motivated and engaged throughout.

For example, February is American Heart Health month. Try challenging your employees to track their sodium intake. Designate a goal to keep intake below the recommended 2,300 mg/day for the entire month to manage hypertension.

Learn more about how to run a habit-tracking activity on MoveSpring.

Host a fundraiser for a charity.

A fundraiser is a perfect marriage of action and awareness. Choose a topic that matters to your employees and a cause that supports it. Then, pair that with an activity that can raise money for that cause.

For example, October 10th is World Mental Health Day. Find a charity that advances research for those suffering from mental health issues, like the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Then, host a 5K to raise money for a donation. You'll get employees moving while raising awareness and doing a good deed for society!

Learn more about how to host a fundraiser on MoveSpring.

Share helpful reminders.

Communication is key! If you don't have the time or resources to run an event, you can share a reminder of an important health observance. Communications help to raise collective awareness while showing your support of employees' health and wellness.

For example, April is Stress Awareness month. Create a poster, flier, or digital communication around this subject. This can help employees become more mindful of how stress might be affecting their lives. By increasing visibility, employees are more likely to feel supported.

Learn more about how you can easily communicate with employees using the announcement feature on MoveSpring.

Create an educational campaign.

Providing intentional education around wellness topics is one of the best ways to use health observances. By offering a series of resources or seminars, you'll enrich your employees' understanding of health and give them the tools to treat or prevent common health problems.

For example, November is American Diabetes Month. Collect and share a digital or print resource booklet which goes over the common risk factors for Diabetes and tips for preventing or managing it. By educating, you can help employees take control of their health and become more aware.

Learn more about how you can easily provide educational material with content campaigns in MoveSpring.

What does a sample wellness calendar look like?

If you're curious about what you might include in a wellness calendar, here is a sample we've put together for a 6-month period:

  • January: New Year's Resolution Challenge. Encourage participants to focus on one healthy habit they want to work on and keep it up for 20 days.
  • February: Communicate educational materials about cardiovascular health to recognize American Heart Health Month.
  • March: World Sleep Day one-day challenge. Encourage employees to prioritize getting a full 8 hours of sleep today while educating on the value of rest and relaxation.
  • April: Break - busy season
  • May: Communicate National Bike to Work Day, and encourage employees to think about how they move and commute.
  • June: National Cancer Survivor's Day fundraiser. Run a virtual 5k or step challenge to raise money for cancer research.

What observances can I include?

Here is a curated list of health observances you can use in your company's wellness programming.

January

Month-Long Observances

National Mentoring Month

Weeks to Note

January 1 -7 - New Year's Resolution Week

January 24-30 - National Healthy Weight Week

Dates to Note

January 24 - National Compliment Day

January 31 - Inspire your Heart with Art Day

February

Month-Long Observances

American Heart Health Month

National Cancer Prevention Month

Dates to Note

February 4 - World Cancer Day

February 11 - National Make a Friend Day

February 14 - International Book Giving Day

February 17 - Random Acts of Kindness Day

March

Month-Long Observances

National Caffeine Awareness Month

Workplace Eye Wellness Month

National Nutrition Month

National Kidney Month

Dates to Note

March 4 - National Day of Unplugging

March 8 - International Women's Day

March 18 - World Sleep Day

March 20 - International Day of Happiness

March 22 - World Water Day

March 22 - American Diabetes Alert Day

March 28 - National Triglycerides Day

March 30 - National Take a Walk in the Park Day

April

Month-Long Observances

National Stress Awareness Month

National Canine Fitness Month

National Donate Life Month

Alcohol Awareness Month

Weeks to Note

April 22-28 - World Immunization Week

Dates to Note

April 6 - National Walking Day

April 7 - World Health Day

April 11 - National Pet Day

April 14 - International Moment of Laughter Day

April 22 - Earth Day

April 23 - National Picnic Day

May

Month-Long Observances

National Blood Pressure Education Month

National Physical Fitness and Sports Month

National Stroke Awareness Month

National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month

International Mediterranean Diet Month

Mental Health Month

Healthy Vision Month

Global Employee Health and Wellness Month

Arthritis Awareness Month

Weeks to Note

May 2- 8 - Screen-Free Week

May 9-15 - National Women's Health Week

Dates to Note

May 3 - National Garden Meditation Day

May 3 - World Asthma Day

May 6 - International No Diet Day

May 16 - National Do Something Good for your Neighbor Day

May 21 - National Bike to Work Day

May 27 - Don't Fry Day

May 31 - World No Tobacco Day

June

Month-Long Observances

National Migraine and Headache Awareness Month

Men's Health Month

Alzheimer's and Brain Awareness Month

Dates to Note

June 1 - National Say Something Nice Day

June 1 - Global Running Day

June 5 - National Cancer Survivor's Day

June 5 - World Environment Day

June 6 - National Gardening Exercise Day

June 17 - National Eat your Vegetables Day

June 17 - National Take Back the Lunch Day

June 21 - Summer Solstice

June 21 - International Day of Yoga

June 23 - National Hydration Day

July

Month-Long Observances

Social Wellness Month

UV Safety Month

Weeks to Note

July 17-23 - Everyone Deserves a Massage Week

Dates to Note

July 5 - National Workaholics Day

July 18 - World Listening Day

July 30 - International Day of Friendship

August

Month-Long Observances

National Wellness Month

Happiness Happens Month

National Immunization Awareness Month

Weeks to Note

August 7-13 - National Exercise with your Child Week

August 25-31 - National Be Kind to Humankind Week

Dates to Note

August 15 - National Relaxation Day

August 28 - National Thoughtful Day

September

Month-Long Observances

Self-Improvement Month

Self-Care Awareness Month

National Recovery Month

Better Breakfast Month

World Alzheimer's Month

Whole Grains Month

National Yoga Awareness Month

Healthy Aging Month

Fruits and Veggies—More Matters ® Month

Dates to Note

September 5 - International Day of Charity

September 8 - National Quiet Day

September 10 - World Suicide Prevention Day

September 12 - National Day of Encouragement

September 17 - National Cleanup Day

September 22 - Car Free Day

September 28 - National Women's Health and Fitness Day

September 29 - World Heart Day

October

Month-Long Observances

National Learning and Development Month

National Book Month

National Financial Planning Month

Emotional Wellness Month

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Health Literacy Month

Weeks to Note

October 18-22 - National Health Education Week

Dates to Note

October 1 - World Vegetarian Day

October 6 - World Financial Planning Day

October 10 - World Mental Health Day

October 12 - World Arthritis Day

October 13 - National Train your Brain Day

October 16 - World Food Day

October 23 - National Make a Difference Day

October 29 - World Stroke Day

November

Month-Long Observances

World Vegan Month

National Gratitude Month

Movember

National Healthy Skin Month

Lung Cancer Awareness Month

American Diabetes Month

Weeks to Note

November 8-14 - Sugar Awareness Week

Dates to Note

November 13 - World Kindness Day

November 14 - World Diabetes Day

November 17 - National Take a Hike Day

November 27 - National Day of Listening

December

Weeks to Note

December 6-12 - National Influenza Vaccination Week

Dates to Note

December 20 - International Human Solidarity Day

December 21 - Winter Solstice

December 26 - National Day of Goodwill

Looking to jump-start your wellness program?

MoveSpring is a health and wellness platform with fun, easy-to-use activity challenges for companies and organizations. Promote holistic wellness, boost culture, and educate your employees on key health topics through the use of our platform. With MoveSpring, we'll stand side-by-side with you to create an engaging wellness program as you cheer on your employees every step of the way.

Contact us to learn more about what our platform can offer to your organization. We'd love to chat more about how MoveSpring can make a positive impact on your employees' health and wellness.

From all of us at MoveSpring, happy stepping! 👟

Sources:

https://evidence.nihr.ac.uk/alert/healthy-lifestyles-increase-life-expectancy-in-people-with-multiple-conditions-multimorbidity-by-as-much-as-in-other-groups/

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