SteelWell, Steel Partners’ Wellness Program, recently held a 30-day clean eating challenge that encouraged employees to eat more vegetables, drink more water, drink fewer sugary beverages, and reduce fast food intake. IWCO Direct participants in this program used an online tracking tool to mark which days they were able to keep these healthy goals and were entered into prize drawings each week to help motivate clean eating.
Building Healthy Habits Through Tracking and Rewards
Promoting healthy eating in the context of an eating challenge is a great way to help employees break old habits and start healthier ones they can follow after the challenge is over. While it’s been shown to take anywhere from 18 days to 254 days to form a new habit, the 30-day SteelWell Clean Eating Challenge provided a solid starting point for employees who are looking to ingrain these healthy habits into their daily lives.
The goal with this initiative was to make employees aware of their current habits and efforts while finding areas in which they can improve. We weren’t looking for perfection—rather, we were encouraging effort. It’s important to remember that a journey to self-improvement is a journey, and that making mistakes here and there won’t jeopardize your path towards a new habit. Understanding that habits don’t just happen in a day or two (or three) will help you keep going, knowing that each day you are closer and closer to that healthier automatic response.
In addition to weekly drawings, we also gave everyone who signed up for the challenge by August 10th a stainless-steel reusable straw to promote sustainable water consumption, and a grand prize was awarded to the employee with the most healthy habit check-ins at the end of the SteelWell Clean Eating Challenge. Another much more significant reward employees experience was an improvement in their health! As much as we’d like our results to be instant, it does take the body a while to adjust to new habits. However, after 30 days, many will start to feel the effects of what a well-balanced diet can do for their overall health and mood.
The Benefits of the SteelWell Clean Eating Challenge
There are a lot of benefits to the healthy habits we encouraged with the 30-day SteelWell clean eating challenge, including:
- Losing weight
- Strengthening your immune system
- Lowering risk of disease
- Energizing and uplifting mood
- Improving skin complexion and hair growth
- Bettering concentration and focus
While the 30-day challenge was a rallying point, it’s not the first time IWCO Direct has taken measures to create a healthier work environment. In recent years, we have installed refillable water stations across our Chanhassen facilities. This not only promotes drinking more water, but the machines also reduce the number of plastic water bottles used by making it easy to refill our own reusable bottles. It’s a cool little added sustainability effort. Water is like an energy drink that your body actually likes, and it benefits your body in many ways.
We also stock our vending machines with packaged fruits and vegetables as well as other healthy alternatives to chips and other snacks. IWCO Direct encourages employees to adopt healthy behaviors by creating an environment that supports those behaviors.
If you are thinking of ways to adapt a healthier lifestyle, a clean eating challenge is a great way to start. Now that you know habits don’t change overnight, hopefully this new information gives you some encouragement to keep working at it—because true failure happens only when you stop trying.
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