Planning the Day

Choose a theme

Choosing a theme for your health awareness day helps to promote the event and may increase its appeal. Themes can also narrow the focus of the event.

Themes can be tied to your goals and objectives, specific wellness resources you are promoting, your corporate philosophy, your industry or products, national health observances, the season, current events, etc. Some examples are:

  • "Spring into Wellness" and "Fall into Fitness" - seasonal
  • "New Year, New You" - January time frame
  • "Carry the Torch for Better Health" - around the Olympics
  • "Well Aware of Your Health" - to highlight Cigna's disease management programs
  • "Baby Your Back" - to focus on lower back care
  • "Soaring to New Heights of Health" - for an airline

Get the committee in a creative mood, choose a date for the event (if not done already), and then brainstorm ideas for themes. Write down as many as you can, while holding off on critiquing them. When finished brainstorming, discuss the pros and cons of each. If you aren't happy with the results, you might open it up to your employees and offer a prize for the winning idea.

Choose activities to offer

The activities or content you choose to include in your health awareness day should be based on the objectives you decided on earlier, as well as the budget. It is also advisable to include some fun activities to maximize attendance.

There are three main categories of content:

  • Education and Awareness - aims to share health-related information
  • Demonstrations and Activities - to teach health-related skills
  • Health Screenings - to identify health-risk factors and provide coaching on how to reduce them

Education and Awareness:

Education and awareness activities are the easiest and least costly to provide, but try to make them as interesting and interactive as possible in order to generate interest. Following are some examples:

  • Aging well tips
  • Arthritis self-management
  • Back care
  • Bicycle safety information
  • Boating safety
  • Cancer prevention, detection, and treatment
  • Child-proofing a home
  • Dental health
  • Disaster preparedness
  • Ergonomics
  • Exercise and physical activity
  • Fire safety
  • Hand washing to prevent spread of colds and flu
  • Identity theft
  • Immunizations (benefits and recommended schedules)
  • Information about Cigna wellness resources available to employees and family members (e.g., online Health Assessment, Healthy Babies program, etc.)
  • Men's health issues
  • Nutrition (e.g., Food Pyramid, displays of the amount of fat in different foods, nutrition labels)
  • Personal safety from crime
  • Poison prevention and first aid
  • Prenatal care
  • Seatbelt safety
  • Sexually transmitted diseases/AIDS
  • Skin cancer and sun safety
  • Stress management
  • Substance abuse prevention
  • Tobacco (prevention in children, cessation, dangers of secondhand smoke)
  • Women's health issues

Demonstrations and Activities:

These are usually more involved, more complex to provide, and often more expensive than education and awareness activities. Many times you can find providers in the community who will do demonstrations in their area of expertise for free, but other times you will have to pay for these services, or at least pay their expenses.

The value of demonstrations and activities is that they go beyond providing cognitive information, and teach behavioral skills needed to actively participate in healthy new behaviors.

By definition, they are usually engaging and interactive.

Following are some examples:

  • Bicycle safety rodeo
  • Chair massage
  • CPR
  • Exercise techniques and use of equipment (aerobics, strength training, stretching)
  • Healthy cooking demonstrations (and tasting)
  • Proper lifting techniques
  • Relaxation exercises
  • Self-defense
  • Tooth brushing
  • Yoga

Health Screenings*:

Screenings require professional expertise to perform and often involve costs. However, they provide some of the greatest potential for improving health and lowering health care costs over the long run. Be sure to schedule enough screeners for the volume of participants, to avoid long lines. One of the biggest challenges when providing screenings is to assure confidentiality of the results. It is very important that you become familiar with and follow HIPAA privacy regulations.

Finally, it is critical to have experts explain the implications of the results to participants, along with any recommended next steps for health risk factors that are identified. A great way to do this is to provide a personal health coaching session immediately after the screening. Following are some screenings to consider offering:

  • Blood glucose
  • Blood pressure
  • Body composition
  • Body mass index (BMI)
  • Bone density
  • Cholesterol (total, HDL, LDL)
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Fitness assessments
  • Hearing tests
  • Immunizations/flu shots (not actually screenings)
  • Mammography
  • Skin cancer
  • Vision testing

* Screenings are suggested. Cigna does not provide all screening types.