There are many commercials and ads encouraging people to incorporate healthier options into their daily lives. The health movement is both a commercial and a governmental agenda item. While snack bakers and gadget makers push to surround themselves with a healthy halo to help increase the attractiveness of their products, parts of the government are also driven to advocate health and nutrition programs. One of the missions of the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) is to “provide consumers with current, useful information about their health and well being”.

Specifically, some government offices have focused on making the working portion of people’s day healthier. The CSPI has noted that “nearly half of our waking hours are spent at work, and many of those hours are spent in meetings and conferences. By adopting healthy meeting guidelines, your organization can help to create an environment that supports employees’ and members’ efforts to eat well and be physically active”. Other nation-wide groups like the National Alliance for Nutritional Activity (NANA) are also spotlighting the workplace as a life component that can be made healthier. The Healthy Meeting Toolkit that NANA has created contains “guidance on key components of a healthy meeting and resources to help make hosting healthy meetings easier”. The American Cancer Society has also launched their own guidebook for making meetings healthier matters. http://www.acsworkplacesolutions.com/wpspdfs/meetingwell_guidebook_f251300.pdf

Even state-specific organizations are getting involved. The California Department of Public Health has released a California Fit Business Kit through their website. The Take Action! Program and the tools in the kit are meant to be used as part of a worksite wellness program.

Professional event organizers are also taking this movement into account as they plan the latest in corporate events. Facilities that normally house these events are taking notice as well, making it easier to inject healthy options into meetings. Hotels groups, such as Omni Hotels and InterContinental Hotels, have initiated or even grown their healthy menu selections by bringing in a celebrity nutritionist to tweak their menus. The Klimpton Hotels and several of the Four Seasons properties have launched fresh juicing menu options. The Ritz-Carlton even has a group menu with food options called “Good For You”.

Menu changes aren’t the only way that meeting facilities are striving to inject a health and wellness component into the meetings that they host. There have been recent upgrades to other aspects of their facilities and meeting offerings as well.

Thayer Lodging Group announced that they are offering 99.9% allergenic-free options at four of their Executive Meeting centers. The company’s press release touts the fact that they “offer our guests and meeting attendees the benefit of being in healthy, more productive environments.”

The MGM Grand Hotel & Resort in Las Vegas has launched a more comprehensive program called Stay Well Meetings. In partnership with Delos, a company that focuses on creating healthy indoor environments, the Stay Well Meetings program includes healthy physical spaces that includes air purification and hypoallergenic materials. The program also has a set of short mental and physical activities designed to improve attendee engagement.

Whether it’s encouragement from the government or just your company culture that is putting a “health watch” on your next event, many corporate meeting spaces may be set up with just the amenities that you need. Just add wellness as a new rating on your space-evaluation work sheet and you may get a healthy surprise.