Wellness Festival 2014
By Cindie Davis
When Duarte first asked me to be their Wellness Promoter and head of the Wellness Committee, my first thought was, how am I going to get all of these people to change their lifestyles even a little bit? How are we going to get these people excited about being healthy? Turns out the answer was to round up an enthusiastic group of committee members and together we set in motion the plans to launch Wellness Week.
Wellness Week consisted of five days of activities to try and get as many people involved in the wellness movement as possible. On Monday, we launched a giant gallery wall that had loads of visuals, recipes, information about healthy eating and ergonomics, and plants that grow well in the office to keep up your oxygen levels and happy quotient. Some employees made healthy appetizers for everyone to try and we handed out fancy rolls of bubble wrap encouraging people to pop their stress away. We also made our own ball pit (no shoes allowed!) and included conversation starters to encourage employees to get to know one another. It turns out that just the act of taking your shoes off and sitting in a pile of colorful balls helps you relax and reduce stress.
Activities for the remainder of the week included Mind Games, (teams faced off in a mental acuity challenge by completing a variety of puzzles under a time constraint), Hunger Games (Duartians volunteered to cook a healthy dish based off one of three items: avocado, walnuts, or eggplant and be judged by other employees), and Agility Games (employees teamed up to race an obstacle course that included a balance beam, water balloon toss, and throwing an egg at a target).
We started Friday morning off with Wellness Bingo, challenging employees to complete the entire board of activities that included things like playing a game of hopscotch, sitting in the ball pit with a coworker for five minutes, eating a piece of fruit, scheduling a walking meeting, and holding an impromptu dance party in front of Nancy and Mark’s offices. To our surprise, this game had an extremely uplifting effect on the staff; people were smiling, talking, laughing, and helping each other complete bingo squares. The energy was simply amazing.
To top off the week, Friday afternoon brought us to the main event of our Wellness Week, the Mind | Body | Soul Festival. The committee arranged for an art auction with art supplied by Duarte artists, a resident Duarte DJ, a few food trucks, and over twenty health vendors to line our parking lot. Employees had a chance to meet chiropractors and massage therapists, learn about local gyms, sample green juices and fruit, bid on art to benefit Duarte’s charities, and play a little ping-pong.