by Dean Witherspoon   Dean's profile on LinkedIn  

One of the more popular activities we’ve added to our recent wellness campaigns is cutting back or eliminating nonwork screen time. Participants echo the same theme in hundreds of evaluations: It was really hard at first, but once it became habit I found I had so much more time to do other things… Thank you! I love my evenings again. It’s as if they needed our permission to turn off their phones or tablets at home.

Excessive screen time (TV, video/online gaming, mobile) has been tied to slower metabolism, increased obesity, higher cholesterol, and reduced creativity in kids and adults. A successful campaign to get your clients to tune out for a week may be the best health promotion you can offer the whole year. Some ideas:

by Beth Shepard   Beth's profile on LinkedIn

Meditation at the Heart of Your Wellness Program.

Richard has been walking each day; he’s swapped out a daily soda for water, is eating more vegetables and fewer sweets. He’s lost 6 pounds, is less stressed, and is feeling fantastic. But last Thursday, he arrives to work feeling grumpy after a lousy commute. While putting his healthy lunch in the break room fridge, he sees a box of pastries on the table… apple fritters, his favorite. Having practiced the STOP technique as part of his mindfulness meditation routine, he immediately uses it:

  • Stop. Instead of reaching in the box automatically, Richard stops in his tracks.
  • Take a breath. He takes several full, deep relaxation breaths and feels calmer.
  • Observe. Richard realizes he’s feeling anxiety from the long, slow commute; he wants a pastry, yet does not want to slow his well-being progress. He’s also aware that he doesn’t have to eat the fritter just because it’s there… he’s not even hungry.
  • Proceed. Realizing that eating now won’t make him feel better, Richard walks away, takes a few more slow breaths to enhance his mood, and gets busy on a project.
by Dean Witherspoon   Dean's profile on LinkedIn  

Marketers have lots of analogies for initiating a product or service: it feels like giving birth, or sending your kid off to school for the first time, or launching a ship and hoping it won’t be the Titanic. If you’ve ever designed and promoted a completely new wellness program, you know what they mean. 

Here are 5 keys to increase your chance of a successful experience instead:

by Beth Shepard   Beth's profile on LinkedIn  

Sedentary jobs may not be as harmful for physically active workers.

Looking for books to inform, inspire, and energize you… personally and professionally? I'm always on the lookout for good nonfiction, especially in lifestyle health and behavior change science, workplace well-being, personal growth, writing skills, and what inspires others. Here are my top picks for wellness pros this year:

  1. Are You Fully Charged? The 3 Keys to Energizing Your Work and Life (2015). Tom Rath offers research and insights on the role of meaning, interactions, and energy in achieving well-being and happiness, both on and off the job.
  2. Coaching Psychology Manual, 2nd Edition (2015). Margaret Moore, Bob Tschannen-Moran, and Erika Jackson provide this valuable resource for wellness program leaders and product developers as well as in-the-trenches practitioners.