Last week, we blogged about vendors that employers should include at their company health fairs. The vendors listed in the post cost money so for the budget-constrained organizations, this post is focused on free vendors that employers can bring to their health fairs. One of the greatest things about health fairs is that you can get a lot of vendors willing to donate their time for a good cause – your health! We’ve done a lot of health fairs, both participating and planning, and these are some of the free vendors that we thought were most valuable in a health fair.

  1. Department Of Public Health
  2. Health Insurance Provider
  3. Gyms Or Fitness Clubs
  4. Health Food Stores
  5. Fire/Police Department

Department Of Public Health

Contacting your local department of public health to participate in your health fair will allow your employees to be educated on ways to stay healthy within the community. Most departments are willing to donate their time for free or in exchange for your company participating in planned community service, which is another great team building activity. Some departments also have separate branches specifically for healthy living in the community so be sure to do your research on their website. Some great ideas on how to incorporate your local department of public health include:

  • Safe bike paths in the community with maps
  • Gardening techniques so employees can learn to grow their own food
  • Ways to stay active in the community
  • ealthy eating in the community
  • Ergonomics

Health Insurance Provider

Many companies offer health insurance to their employees so why not provide education on how employees can best use these services. It is unfortunate that a lot of employees aren’t aware of many of the benefits they get with their health insurance. Having representatives from your health plan to educate employees about their benefits can not only be advantageous to them but also save your company money on costly premiums. Be sure your healthcare providers educate your employees about the following:

  • Health benefits based on your insurance offerings
  • Perks for exercise
  • Perks for eating healthy
  • Reimbursements for healthy living
  • Reimbursements for gym memberships
  • Coverage/Reimbursement for self-care (e.g., stress relief, fitness classes, nutrition programs, massage/acupuncture, etc.)

Gyms Or Fitness Clubs

Your local gym is a great way to get your employees active and healthy! Most local gyms are happy to host a table and talk to your employees about membership options as well as fitness tips. Make sure to check with your healthcare provider to see if there are any reimbursement options for memberships. There are also many corporate options at many gyms so speaking with a membership representative prior to your health fair may be beneficial. Your local gym can also do a multitude of other activities that can be very interactive for your employees and increase participation. These include:

  • Fitness challenges
  • Screenings (e.g., blood pressure)
  • Safe workout ideas/demo
  • Exercise demonstration
  • Exercise classes

Health Food Stores

Think Whole Foods or any other local healthy store. These venues are usually happy to host a table and share their healthy eating tips! Be sure to be vocal about any allergies that your employees may have so everyone is safe and can benefit from a food tasting. Also, ask your vendors to provide recipe cards so your employees can enjoy these healthy foods at home. You may want to focus on foods that your employees can bring to work with them or make at work since that can be a big struggle. Some great ideas for tastings include:

  • Smoothies
  • Healthy snacks
  • Easy breakfast ideas
  • Quick lunches
  • Portable meals and snacks

Fire/Police Department

Employee safety is very important. Utilizing the services of your local police or fire department can be very beneficial when it comes to safety in and out of the office. These officials can educate employees on public safety, fire safety, and even rules of the road. The following are some ideas that can be used toward the health and safety of your employees:

  • Latest information on office safety
  • Fire safety
  • CPR/AED locations and trainings
  • Road safety
  • Disaster relief and planning

Having a health fair can be extremely beneficial for employees and does not need to cost too much. Leveraging free vendors and existing resources can create a great base to grow from. You may even want to check with your insurance broker or health plan. They may offer free credits to use to purchase a few vendors to augment the free ones you invite.

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