behavior · environment · health · mental health · play · work

Creating playful and holistic spaces for healthier employees

The Clinton Foundation recently teamed up with my employer as part of the Clinton Health Matters Initiative (CHMI) to create more healthy, and healthier, employees in a corporate environment. There were five winners chosen, and these two were my personal favorites:

  • Make Work Active
  • Concept: Gamify holistic health and wellness. Design a points based rewards program to incentivize employees for adopting a healthy lifestyle at work, with programs tailored to industry specific wellness issues.
  • Workspace Design
  • Concept: Design workplaces that require regular movement physical activity. Create “motion enhancing workplace” certification. Create certification of “Motion Enhancing Workspaces” if sufficient requirements are met (Similar to Leed Certified buildings).


While some of the other ideas were also great – have fresh food on hand, make a team goal to improve health – I love these ideas in particular because they engage with employees on an individual level, and force the employee to engage with wellness, i.e. via a game and/or their environment.

I know gamification is a super “buzz” term right now, almost to the point of being passe, but I have found it to be a surprisingly powerful tool. A few years ago I organized a walking challenge at work, and bought cheap pedometers for everyone who wanted to participate. The winner ended up being the facilities manager, which surprised everyone but totally made sense since he was on his feet all day, and was a great example of how a lot of little walks add up.

Where have you seen either of these types of initiatives in action, whether at work, school, or in your neighborhood? Do you know of any group working on creating certifications for “healthy workspaces”? Share them in the comments below.