Global Running Day, observed on June 5th, is an annual celebration that encourages people of all ages and activity levels to get moving through the act of running. Beyond the physical perks, running is a powerful remedy to boost mental health.

In the workplace, embracing Global Running Day through organized events promotes well-being, camaraderie, and shared achievement. This guide will help HR professionals leverage the power of Global Running Day as a tool to improve employee health and strengthen organizational culture.

Pressed for time? Here’s a quick summary…

  • Impactful workplace activities: Explore themed runs, contests, and charity 5Ks to encourage broader participation and foster camaraderie on Global Running Day.
  • Inclusivity best practices: Prioritize inclusivity on Global Running Day with options for all skill levels, buddy systems, and emphasis on participation over speed or distance.
  • Long-term engagement strategies: Maintain momentum with ongoing communication and link Global Running Day’s role in broader wellness initiatives to promote lasting health benefits.

Fun & Impactful Workplace Activities For Global Running Day

To promote broader participation in Global Running Day events, employers can integrate several engaging elements and inclusive activities.

Fun & Impactful Workplace Activities For Global Running Day

Themed Runs

Beyond making the Global Running Day event fun and memorable, themed runs serve as effective icebreakers, fostering connections among employees. They also provide photo opportunities for participants to capture and share their experiences, amplifying the event’s impact and reach. Creative ideas include: 

  • Superhero sprint: Encourage employees to dress as their favorite superheroes. 
  • Retro run: Choose a vibrant decade, like swinging ‘60s, disco ‘70s, or neon ‘80s. 
  • PJ party: Opt for comfort with a laid-back pajama-themed run. 
  • Color rush: Cultivate team spirit by assigning specific colors to each team. 
  • Swag stride: Promote company pride by encouraging participants to wear company-branded gear. 

Company-Sponsored Charity 5K

Company-Sponsored Charity 5K

Align the event with a meaningful cause by joining a charity 5K, uniting participants in a shared goal of contributing to the community. Consider covering registration fees or donating a set amount for every kilometer completed by the team. Such Global Running Day initiatives demonstrate corporate social responsibility and instill a sense of purpose among employees

Lunchtime Run / Walk Groups

Maximize the midday break with a lunchtime group run or walk, encouraging employees to engage in physical activity. This allows them to relax, recharge, and socialize with colleagues outside the workplace on Global Running Day, boosting camaraderie and productivity.

Warm-Ups & Cool-Downs

Warm-Ups & Cool-Downs

Prioritize employee safety by including gentle warm-ups and cool-downs at the start and end of the Global Running Day event. These sessions prevent injuries and can teach employees techniques to apply to their daily routines, ensuring a sustainable approach to fitness. 

Contests & Challenges 

Incorporating a photo contest or challenge into the Global Running Day event encourages friendly competition, creativity, and team spirit. Some ideas include: 

  • Best team photo 
  • Most creative costumes 
  • Most kilometers/miles logged by a team 

Post-Event Healthy Snacks & Hydration Stations

Post-Event Healthy Snacks & Hydration Stations

After the Global Running Day event, provide healthy snacks and hydration stations for employees to refuel and rehydrate. Options like fruits, granola bars, and protein shakes can accommodate various dietary needs and preferences. This initiative addresses immediate post-exercise needs while encouraging nutritious eating habits within the workplace.

Best Practices: Inclusivity Is Key

Regardless of their running experience, employees should feel empowered to participate in Global Running Day events. Prioritizing inclusivity promotes a culture of respect and maximizes engagement. 

Best Practices: Inclusivity Is Key

Running For All Levels 

Whether employees are first-timers or seasoned marathoners, encouraging everyone to set personal goals makes Global Running Day accessible for all. Offer various distances or types of runs—from a simple 1K walk to a more challenging 5K or 10K—to cater to different skill levels.  

Buddy System

Pairing employees randomly or by running level can foster new workplace relationships and bridge departmental divides. The buddy system also boosts accountability, encouraging employees to show up and push their limits on Global Running Day. 

Movement Over Speed

Global Running Day is about movement, not just running. Remind employees that any form of physical activity is fully acceptable and encouraged, ensuring everyone can participate regardless of their physical condition or preference for lower-impact exercise.  

Virtual Options

Virtual Options

Organize virtual step challenges to include remote workers on Global Running Day, leveraging apps and platforms to log miles and share progress. Encourage employees to share photos or videos of their run or walk, reinforcing a sense of community. 

Building Momentum & Long-Term Engagement

Building anticipation before the event drives participation, while highlighting success stories and the benefits of running encourages continued physical activity beyond Global Running Day. 

Ongoing Communication

Ongoing Communication

Use internal company channels, such as newsletters, to keep employees informed and excited for Global Running Day. This includes: 

  • Pre-event: Share participation guidelines, event schedules, training tips, and countdowns to spark excitement and ensure employees are prepared. 
  • Post-event: Showcase success stories and photos to maintain the energy and inspire future participation. 

Emphasize The Big Picture

Linking Global Running Day to broader wellness initiatives emphasizes its role in overall well-being, reinforcing a culture of health beyond the event. Consider the following: 

  • Physical fitness: Participating in Global Running Day promotes physical activity, contributing to better cardiovascular health, strength, and endurance. 
  • Stress management: Running can be an effective stress reliever, helping employees manage stress levels and boost mental health. 
  • Team building: Running events foster camaraderie and teamwork among employees, strengthening relationships. 
  • Work-life balance: Global Running Day serves as an opportunity to prioritize physical health and personal well-being, promoting work-life balance. 

Taking Challenges To The Next Level

To amplify the benefits of Global Running Day and encourage ongoing physical activity, consider integrating one of Wellable’s challenges into your workplace wellness program: 

  • Make Your Way To 5K Challenge: This structured plan helps participants build stamina to complete a 5K. Coordinating this challenge with a local race adds an exciting goal and encourages employees to stay committed to their training. 
  • Move More Challenge: This versatile challenge encourages employees to engage in various physical activities such as walking, running, and cycling, making it an inclusive and adaptable challenge for differing fitness levels and abilities. 
  • Step It Up Challenge: Designed to boost daily step counts, participants earn points for their steps with the goal of climbing the leaderboard. This challenge fosters friendly competition and motivates employees to move more each day. 

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