Living a healthy lifestyle can extend into the workplace and Northern Health wants employees across the region to get more involved at their jobs.
The healthy authority is holding a contest beginning later this month, challenging workplace teams to complete health-related challenges and compete for prizes. Since many people spend most of their waking hours during the prime of their life at work, living healthy outside the home is an important part of overall health.
"We know that September is always a great time to re-consider our routines," said Chelan Zirul, who provides program planning support in public health. "We also know that workplaces and employees are a very specific, important and accessible population for health campaigns."
Teams of between two and 10 people from the same workplace can sign up on the Northern Health website to compete in a set of three weekly challenges. A team approach was chosen to allow people to encourage and support one another.
The content of the contests are a closely guarded secret until the week they're announced, but they will be divided into three themes: injury prevention, healthy eating and physical activity.
Once each challenge is completed, participants will submit written and visual proof they completed it. The team that gets the most online votes for its photos will win the top prize.
The grand prize is $1,000 towards a workplace health initiative. There will also be three regional prizes of $500 available - one each for the northeast, northwest and central interior.
Zirul said many employees have ideas about how to create a healthier workplace, but sometimes it's difficult to receive funding to get projects off the ground. She said the health authority hopes the prizes can act as seed funds to create long-term health projects.
"[The prize money is] going to be directed by the teams," she said. "We have some ideas around workplace wellness kits, but we're definitely not going to pigeon hole anyone and we invite them to bring their creativity to the table."
Registration closes on Sept. 16 and more information is available online at blog.northernhealth.ca.