Business of Well-being

Tailgating - How to Turn a Popular Pastime into a Healthy Party

Personal wellness is indivisible from corporate wellness. The latter cannot thrive without the former - there is no company that can function, never mind succeed, with employees who are sick - so there should be an emphasis on educating workers about the ways to create - and enjoy - a healthy lifestyle.

I write these words from experience as the founder of Bob Caputo Living Well, and I compose this column during a time of the year when people practice an event as old as the sport they love and as popular as the tradition they uphold - the time-honored activity of holding tailgating parties prior to the start of a football game.

Since these same men and women will talk about this athletic contest at the office, and because they will begin the workweek with a recounting of Sunday's NFL Spectacular (and a retelling of that day's cook-off of everything from grilled steaks and sausages to seared hamburgers and toasted ham and cheese sandwiches), it is in the best interest of every company to promote healthy tailgating. As this video shows, there are healthy - and delicious - alternatives to the conventional "menu" of a tailgate party.

I cite this issue because, aside from its seasonal importance and the sport's appeal to tens of millions of Americans, this option is a chance to capture the hearts and minds - and the stomachs, too - of the very people a company needs to be healthy. Because of the absentee rate of these individuals due of sick days and the threat of obesity and early onset of Type 2 Diabetes, no business can afford to ignore this matter.

If, for example, a company knows that their employees are more expensive to insure, as well as that if too many of those workers have bad cholesterol and high blood pressure - the warning signs appear to flash like a police light, and blare like a fire alarm! Then, certainly things must change quickly.

It is not the responsibility of a company to force-feed employees, so to speak. That tactic will only elicit scorn or resentment from workers. It is, however, an organizational responsibility to encourage people to pursue a healthy lifestyle by proving that that lifestyle can be - and is - as fun as it is gastronomically great.

Put another way, corporate wellness should be a subject concerning tasty foods, delightful dishes and measured meals. It should inspire indulgence, without the guilt or fat of having a conventional tailgating party.

By educating employees, we can do more for the cause of corporate wellness than running the equivalent of a public service announcement (PSA) about the same. By correcting any misnomers, and by ensuring there are no misgivings, we can help employees be more active, healthy and happy.

We owe it to ourselves to make this project the priority it should be; the priority it must be. With an eye toward information, and with a focus on inclusion, we can strengthen the purpose of corporate wellness.

We can score a touchdown for healthy tailgating.

About the Author

Bob Caputo is the founder of Bob Caputo Living Well, a destination for articles. posts, videos and commentary about health, exercise, wellness and nutrition.

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