Discover the Best Wellness & Fitness Team Building Activities
Wellness, fitness, and nutrition should be an important part of every person’s life. Feeling and being healthy can have a major impact on every part of your life, including your career. Because of this, more companies are taking a more active role in their employees’ mental and physical health.
This is because being healthy doesn't just affect your life at home, it’s an important part of career success as well. Smart companies realize that making short-term investments in their employees’ wellness is an excellent long-term investment for the company.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that, “working conditions and the working environment and the demands of the work environment” are one of the biggest sources of stress for most Americans. In fact, the same CDC research shows that around one fourth of Americans name their job as the biggest stressor in their lives. Feeling perpetually stressed at work can lead to burnout, high turnover, and poor productivity. All of these will directly affect a company’s bottom line.
Having healthy employees is critical to the success of a company. According to a peer-reviewed study published by the National Institute of Health (NIH), Fortune 500 companies that incorporated wellness initiatives for their employees create a positive ROI because of reduced turnover costs. Some of these initiatives included giving employees more control over how they do their work, increasing the stability of scheduling, giving employees opportunities to solve workplace problems, maintaining adequate staffing to reduce workloads, encouraging management to support employees in their personal needs, and taking steps to foster the social belonging of employees. All of these initiatives have proven successful in increasing employees’ health and increasing profits.
Of course, healthy doesn’t just mean physical health: smart companies make sure to invest in their employees’ mental health as well. This can be through educational opportunities, such as wellness workshops. Or, providing mental health services on-site or through insurance. Or, even just scheduling in time for fun, social, or wellness activities, such as meditation, stretching, and art classes. There are many options for companies that want to incorporate more wellness initiatives and opportunities for their employees.
Your team’s mental health is directly correlated to their job performance. According to research done by the American Psychiatric Association (APA), “employees with unresolved mental health issues experience a 35% reduction in productivity.” According to the same report, a stressed-out team can lead to frequently calling out sick, not meeting productivity targets, a high turnover rate, and fractured communication and teamwork. While attending to your team’s mental health might seem trendy at first, research shows that it’s a solid investment in reducing the kind of burnout and disengagement that sabotage a team’s success.
Attending to your team’s wellness and fitness is also the most profitable choice in the long-run. According to the same report from the APA, unaddressed mental health issues contribute to “a loss to the U.S. economy of $210.5 billion a year in absenteeism, reduced productivity, and medical costs.” When you invest in your employees’ health, you’re making an investment in the long-term success of your team and company. Up-front costs are balanced out by increased retention, higher job satisfaction, engagement with their tasks, and strong connections among colleagues. You’ll be cultivating an environment that allows every team member, and therefore, the company, to succeed.
This kind of research has led more and more companies to begin focusing on the fitness and wellness, both physical and mental, of their employees. This could include scheduling fun team-building activities, de-stressing activities, or providing health services to employees. Examples of de-stressing activities could include wellness events, like yoga and meditation or providing mindfulness events for employees.
Progressive companies are incorporating all kinds of wellness and fitness initiatives for healthier, better employees. In 2020, The New York Times published a long report about the hot trend of companies offering wellness and fitness opportunities for their employees: “As companies have stressed the importance of work-life balance and mental health, and a younger, more open-minded work force has joined their ranks, wellness initiatives have ramped up in workplaces across the country.” In the article, younger employees cite these kind of wellness initiatives as a critical factor in not only job satisfaction, but also in choosing which companies they work for.
The goal is not to just schedule isolated health and wellness events, but to cultivate mental and physical health in all aspects of your company’s operations. Wellness isn’t just a one-time event, but can be incorporated into your office’s culture to create a better, more productive workplace. According to The New York Times, “...the ultimate purpose is to encourage a corporate culture that takes a more holistic approach to employee well-being and embraces imperfection in the daily grind.” At its most basic level, you’re encouraging your employees to also be human. This can lead to greater vulnerability in the workplace, which will ultimately foster greater camaraderie and greater creativity all the time.
Some smart companies also see wellness and fitness initiatives as an opportunity to incorporate team-building activities. People usually focus on the benefits of team-building as building soft skills, such as teamwork, communication, leadership, and problem-solving. However, team-building activities can also contribute to your team’s fitness and wellness goals.
Benefits of Wellness & Fitness Team Building Activities
Research from Gallup and Deloitte shows that around ⅔ of workers experience burnout and employers aren’t doing enough to prevent it. Wellness and fitness team-building activities are an excellent way to combat employee burnout by creating healthy employees with strong personal bonds. You’ll be taking an active role in investing in your employees’ mental health and the health of the company.
Some of the benefits of investing in employee wellness and fitness include, healthier employees, increases productivity, improves employee engagement, increases morale, reduces stress levels, improves attendance, reduces healthcare and insurance costs, improves teamwork, and attracts new talent.
While many wellness and fitness programs started as employee perks at tech companies, more and more companies are seeing the benefits. This has led to many companies investing in a wellness culture within their office. More than half of GenZ and Millenials rank benefits and wellness initiatives as “extremely important” when considering which company to join. Starting wellness and fitness at your company can help you attract the best talent.
Wellness and fitness initiatives also lead to a greater sense of community and caring. Employees will be more likely to emotionally engage with the company when they feel that the company cares about them. Studies show that employees at companies with a wellness culture feel more invested in their colleagues and work environment.
Top Wellness & Fitness Team Building Activities
Virtual Group Stretching & Alignment
Your group is guided through strengthening, lengthening, and aligning their bodies in this one-hour Virtual Group Stretching & Alignment. The stretching and alignment exercises are inspired by dance and encourage each person to expand their personal mobility. Variations of each move are offered so that the class fits all fitness and flexibility levels. Everyone will leave the class feeling lighter and moderately challenged. Everyone will need to provide loose clothing, a mat, and the space to stretch.
Virtual Rough Day Recharging
Virtual Rough Day Recharging is designed to make everyone on your team say, “I needed that!” Your group will be guided through a series of gentle but effective chair stretching exercises, great for “tech neck.” Stretching will be followed by a guided meditation that incorporates ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response), the practice of using audio and visuals to stimulate the brain. The class will end with a fun game that focuses on adorable photos of puppies and kittens. You can also add a curated sensory kit for each participant, which includes a massage ball and some of our favorite fidget toys.
Virtual Guided Group Meditation
This 30-minute Virtual Guided Group Meditation workshop combines meditation, discussion, and manifestation techniques from the practice of yoga. The workshop begins with a pranayama breathing exercise in which they bring an object from their home with significant symbolic meaning. The class then transitions into a guided meditation and visualization exercise in which participants are encouraged to bring their new awareness. The last part of the class focuses on bringing this awareness to the community via social action. Some of the goals of this workshop include collaboration and allyship, individual empowerment, building compassion, and increasing awareness of social causes. Each person will need to provide loose clothing, a mat, and their own comfortable space
Virtual Weekly Decompression for High Stress Teams
If your team is under a lot of stress, you might consider signing them up for Virtual Weekly Decompression for High Stress Teams. This 30-minute weekly workshop is designed to create space for our team to pause, unwind, and reflect. It will begin with a 5-minute welcome followed by a 10-minute relaxation session intended to help everyone settle in and connect with their bodies. The class continues with a 10-minute guided meditation and visualization exercise that is designed to teach your employees the fundamentals of meditation and creative visualization, which can lead to the manifestation of goals. The class will end with an awaken and close section to get everyone eased back into their day with intentionality. Each participant will be expected to wear comfortable clothing and can bring their own mat or towel if desired.
Virtual Mindful Meditation for the (Home) Office
This Virtual Mindful Meditation for the (Home) Office is designed to help remote workers integrate mindfulness into their daily routines. Your team will be guided through mindfulness meditation techniques proven to reduce stress and increase productivity. The class starts with a welcome to make everyone more relaxed and comfortable with each other. Then, the host guides everyone through basic relaxation exercises.Next, there will be a guided visualization and meditation portion paired with gentle breathing exercises. The class finished with an awaken and close. This step can take as long as everyone needs. Each participant will be asked to provide comfortable clothing, a mat, and a comfortable space for relaxation.
You can select a 30- or 60-minute session for your team.
Virtual Chair Stretching
Virtual Chair Stretching combines Gyrotonics, yoga, and dance techniques for stretching while remaining seated. This 30-minute workshop mobilizes the spine, improves posture, engages the core, and relieves tension in the body. This can be great for people who spend a lot of time at their desks. The moves are specially designed to benefit office workers who sit a lot, including targeting the reduction in “office slump” and “tech neck.” It is low-impact and can be modified for all fitness and flexibility levels. These chair stretching exercises can be incorporated into everyone’s daily schedule for an extra boost of daily wellness. Everyone will need to provide their own comfortable clothing and a chair to use for the stretching exercises.
Virtual Art & Meditation (Materials Included)
This Virtual Art & Meditation (Materials Included) is a special workshop that combines relaxing art exercises with meditation. Your team will have the opportunity to destress, bond, and express themselves creatively in this 1.15-hour workshop. It begins with a simple breathing exercise and meditation to help everyone relax and begin getting comfortable. Then, everyone uses gel pens to color in a mandala coloring book. The host will facilitate conversation during the coloring session to build community spirit. All materials will be shipped to participants, including gel pens and a coloring book. This workshop is designed so that everyone can participate from the comfort of their own chair.
Virtual Vision Board Workshop (Materials Included)
Your team will gain clarity about their goals and express their creativity in the Virtual Vision Board Workshop. Vision boards combine a series of images to help inspire you to create the life that you want. A professional artist will guide your team through a set of prompts intended to make their goals more attainable. Then, they’ll encourage interaction and fun conversation while everyone works on their own individual vision board. All materials will be shipped to participants, including a corkboard, push pins, and a picture book with inspirational images.
Virtual Cartooning & Doodling Workshop
This beginner-friendly, relaxing Virtual Cartooning & Doodling Workshop teaches the basic techniques of cartoon drawing and doodling. A professional artist instructor will guide everyone from basic stick figures to drawing life-like faces in only an hour and a half. Each person will be encouraged to develop their own artistic style and personal cartoon characters. After a relaxing art session, everyone will be encouraged to share what they made for community bonding. Everyone will be asked to bring their favorite pens and pencils, plus some paper.
Virtual Weekly Wind Down - Facilitated Meeting
Virtual Weekly Wind Down - Facilitated Meeting is designed to provide wellness benefits alongside community building. Each week, a facilitator will guide your group through sharing their weekly “roses,” “thorns,” and “learnings.” It provides a space for guided, casual conversation to help everyone get to know each other better. Each week, your team will receive structured relaxation and conversation for team building. Some of the benefits of this weekly series include better working relationships, better communication during meetings, and a greater understanding of practicing wellness in the workplace for stronger productivity. These four weekly 30-minute meetings are hosted by a professional facilitator and will ask your team to share wins, losses, and lessons. Each meeting will end with a gratitude share.
Virtual Grow Your Own Home Garden (Materials Included)
Your team will relax, get their hands dirty, and bond in Virtual Grow Your Own Home Garden. No green thumb is required since everyone will be led by hosts who are experts at gardening. They will guide everyone through planting and caring for their own miniature herb garden. Your team will have their own home garden to tend after the event. This will stretch out the opportunities for relaxation and conversation: “How is your tarragon doing?” An herbal kit will be shipped to all participants before the event, including starter pots, planting markers, peat discs, and seeds: parsley, cilantro, tarragon, chives, and thyme.
Virtual Dot Mandala Painting (Materials Included)
This private 90-minute Virtual Dot Mandala Painting party is an excellent way to get your team relaxing while expressing their creativity through creating their own dot mandala designs. Dot painting comes from aboriginal Australia, making it an ancient meditative art. Mandala in Sanskrit is a circle representing the universe. This workshop invites every member of your team to create their own “mini-universe” that represents their inner-selves. No skills are needed since a professional artist instructor will be guiding everyone through the process which will help everyone tap into their creativity. All materials will be shipped to participants before the event, including a dot mandala toolset, craft acrylic paints, and 4x4 canvas boards. For an extra-relaxing event, you can have a bottle of wine shipped to participants for an additional $30.
Virtual Pet Portraits (Materials Included)
Virtual Pet Portraits is a relaxing way to break the ice by having your team bond over their beloved pets. Each person will select their favorite photo of their pet to immortalize into a painting. A professional artist will walk everyone through sketching their pet on canvas and then working with acrylics and brushes to create a customized artistic portrait. Everyone will be encouraged to share their pictures and tell stories about their pet to encourage bonding. All materials will be shipped to participants before the event, including acrylic paints, canvas, paint brushes, and a palette. Everyone will be expected to provide their own water, paper towels, pen and pencil, and an image of their chosen pet.
Virtual Apple Pie Workshop (w/ optional Appletini)
Your team will relax, bond, and enjoy the fruits of their labor in Virtual Apple Pie Workshop. There’s nothing more American, or comforting than a slice of hot, fresh, homemade apple pie. Have your team come together to make this classic comfort food in a 2.5 hour workshop. As an optional bonus, your team can learn to mix an apple martini to sip on during the event. A full list of all necessary ingredients will be provided to each participant before the event.
Virtual Tarot Cards 101
Tarot is an ancient tool with uses far beyond divination. In Virtual Tarot Cards 101, a professional card reader will guide your team through the basics of reading tarot cards and their uses. They’ll learn tips for using tarot for meditation, self-reflection, and self-knowledge. This casual, fun, relaxing class is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a creative and unique approach to wellness team building activities. All materials will be shipped to participants before the event, including a beautiful deck of tarot cards.
Virtual Comedy Show
Laughter is the best medicine. Your team will be healing, relaxing, and getting to know each other while cracking up at Virtual Comedy Show. Your whole group will be entertained by a professional comedian in your choice of a 1-hour or half-hour show. In addition to the duration, you can also make a content-rating suggestion, so that no one on your team leaves offended. You can also pair this comedy show with a virtual happy hour for some extra de-stressing.