What is Global Employee Health & Fitness Month?
Global Employee Health and Fitness Month (GEHFM) is an international and national observance of health and fitness in the workplace, created by 501c3 non-profit organization, the National Association for Health and Fitness. The goal of GEHFM is to promote the benefits of a healthy lifestyle to employers and their employees through worksite health promotion activities and environments.
Formerly titled National Employee Health and Fitness Day, GEHFM has been extended to a month-long initiative in an effort to generate sustainability for a healthy lifestyle and initiate healthy activities on an ongoing global basis with a reach into South America, Europe and Asia.
Employers everywhere are invited to participate. The website and toolkit are available to participants, healthandfitnessmonth.org
Employers will challenge their employees to create Healthy Moments, form Healthy Groups and develop a Culminating Project. Participants will be able to log these activities on the website through the month, allowing employer and employees to track, share and promote their individual and group activities. GEHFM is structured very simply for ease of use and primarily targeted on companies with 500 employees or less.
Healthy Moments are occasions of healthy eating, physical activity or personal/environmental health. (e.g., cooking a healthy meal or scheduling a dental/doctor visit.)
Healthy Groups are formed to create a sustainable activity continuing even beyond the month. (e.g., healthy lunch groups; company sports team; walking club.)
Culminating Project is an event that promotes health throughout the whole company or community. (e.g., planting a community garden; company/family fitness event.)
When is GEHFM and how it works?
GEHFM is held during the month of May every year (traditionally physical activity month). Health Moments occur daily, even multiple times a day and are created by individuals and groups. Healthy Groups implement activities to be performed several times throughout the month. Finally, the Culminating Project is developed during GEHFM and is executed at the end of May.
Why should employers/employees participate?
GEHFM is a great way to kickoff wellness and fitness programs and bring excitement and can complement existing programs. Workforce wellness programs have been shown to benefit the employer through enhanced employee productivity; reduced health care costs; reduced employee absenteeism and decreased rates of illness and injury. These programs benefit employees by lowering stress levels, increasing well-being, self-image and self-esteem, improving physical fitness, increasing stamina, increasing job satisfaction and controlling BMI and blood pressure.
Benefits of GEHFM
- Free, innovative and proven tool kit provided to help guide activities and events
- Promotional items advertising GEHFM available for purchase by participants
- Ability to log and track moments, groups and projects
- Option to implement friendly competitions and challenges to build teamwork
- Simple and adaptable to any wellness and fitness program
- Creates sustainable healthy programs, environments and policies
2017 participation in GEHFM was 37 States, 71 Cities and 28,554 participants
About the National Association for Health and Fitness (NAHF)
NAHF was founded in 1979 by the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports and has as its vision that America shares in the social economic, health and environmental benefits that come from living an active lifestyle. Our mission is to improve the quality of life for all individuals in the United States by promoting physical fitness, sports and healthy lifestyles. We also champion environmental and policy support for active living and encourage and share innovation in the States. NAHF values active living (integrating physical activity into daily lives) community involvement and leadership development for all societal sectors; promoting quality physical education in our schools; developing workforce health promotion programs and active-aging programs. With our focus on the States, NAHF “bridges the gap” between federal and local action and unites researcher and community practitioner.
Global Employee Health and Fitness Month website: healthandfitnessmonth.org
Diane Hart, Owner of Hart to Heart Fitness, is a Nationally Certified Fitness Professional, Personal Trainer, Health Educator and is current President of the National Association for Health and Fitness founded in 1979 by the U.S. President’s Council on Sports and Fitness. She is also Chair and one of the original architects of Global Employee Health and Fitness Month, which strives to make healthy the norm in the workplace.