is a cultural field trip an employee wellness activity?

July 11, 2012

in culture,wellness

this weekend a friend asked me whether trips to cultural institutions should qualify as a wellness activity. she asked because her company’s benefits partner included it on a planning questionnaire. sure, i said. why not? if it’s an activity that enhances someone’s sense of well-being, improves work interactions, stimulates the mind—shouldn’t it count?

then i went on to say that most employers want wellness activities they can directly tie to lowered health care costs. it’s kind of tough to connect a museum field trip to lower medical cost trend.

this conversation got me thinking about the boundaries of wellness. what’s in? what’s out?

some companies see a connection between giving employees a free pair of sneakers or a bike and improved well-being. some companies know that a bean bag lounge or a trip to a trampoline park can relieve stress. others value shaking it on the dance floor for an hour.

can a strong argument be made for being in bounds or out of bounds? absolutely. culture’s a huge influence. desired messaging, too. no company should include a wellness activity that feels false to their culture and messaging—unless that activity helps shift both in a way they desire.

where would your company fall? what would be out of bounds? what do you wish were in bounds?

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