Healthy workplace ideas that actually inspire

Running a successful small business is no easy feat. With so many demands on their time, owners need to invest not only in infrastructure but in their most precious resource – their team. Investing in their employees’ well being by instituting simple workplace wellness initiatives geared toward increasing knowledge, providing an opportunity for employees to put healthy living choices into practice and creating a supportive environment can have an impact.

Vancouver tech company A Thinking Ape, already a progressive company, is the latest local business to sign on with the WellnessFits program, a partnership of the Canadian Cancer Society, BC and Yukon and the Province of BC’s  Healthy Families BC initiative that provides free resources and support for businesses looking to create a healthy workplace.

After their first consultation, WellnessFits coordinator Sue MacPhail and A Thinking Ape’s Sonia Ryan came up with some creative ways to promote a healthy lifestyle among ATA’s staff. Plans are in the works to:

  • Get dirty and get some fresh air volunteering for A Sharing Farm Society
  • Evolve twice-weekly catered lunches that ATA already provides for staff into demonstrations by local chefs, to promote a behaviour change at home as well as at work
  • Bring in some standing desks as a pilot project

“The key to success with programs like this is talking to employees and seeing where their interests lie,” says Sue MacPhail. “For A Thinking Ape, their interests are in giving back to the community and healthy eating, so that’s where they’re going to start.”

Wellness programs in the workplace can help retain and engage employees as well as:

  • Reduce sick leave by 25 per cent
  • Lower health costs by 25 per cent
  • Lower compensation and disability costs by 32 per cent

For more information, visit