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Archive for the ‘Corporate Wellness’ Category

Shift Work Wellness and Safety

Monday, April 20th, 2015

Tuesday, 5 May 2015 from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM (MDT), Edmonton, AB

Click here to learn more

A full day workshop for management, HR professionals, corporate wellness coordinators, occupational health nurses and safety professionals. Gain an understanding of the wellness and safety challenges your shift workers are experiencing and what the many solutions are.

A break will be provided in the morning and afternoon.

April Smith will be running this workshop. April is the owner of Vitalize Initiatives Inc. (, a company that specializes in corporate wellness and safety workshops.

April has been in the field of wellness, safety and adult instruction since 1996.  She started focusing on corporate wellness, and shift work wellness and safety, in Northern Alberta in 2001.  She now offers shift work wellness and safety workshops all over Canada.

Workplace Wellness Programming Ideas

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

On January 29th, 2015 we ran an event in Edmonton. Vitalize Initiatives Inc. partnered up with another other local corporate wellness related company and ran our first Workplace Wellness Bootcamp event. It was a day that was focused on real information about the challenges, trends and solutions in the field of workplace wellness.


We had a fabulous group of participants show up and had a great time! Near the end of the day we ran a brainstorming activity that captured programming ideas for workplace wellness initiatives. I added some additional ideas while I was creating the document afterwards.


Hopefully you are able to use some of these ideas in your workplace!! Good luck spreading the wellness.  :)


Workplace Wellness Bootcamp Programming Ideas


Over and Out

April Smith

Mayor Don Iveson – Walking the Walk When it Comes to Wellness in the Workplace

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

I recently came across an article in outlining how the Mayor of Edmonton, Don Iveson, makes his well-being a priority even with his busy schedule. Reading that article was like a breath of fresh air for me and made me respect the Mayor of this fabulous city even more. Having someone in the spotlight promoting, and encouraging, these important topics by example does nothing but good for the ever growing field of corporate wellness.


In the article Mayor Iveson talked about how he makes his work/life balance a priority. He tries to make it home to tuck his kids in every night, read to them and play with them as much as he can. His wife also takes his kids to visit him at work once a week when they are downtown. Work/life balance is something many people find difficult to accomplish. I applaud our Mayor for making it a priority even though I am sure his schedule is quite intense. I think Iveson is promoting something very important here. I love that he is leading by example and insisting that his personal priorities are a part of his day. When I talk about Work/Life Balance I emphasize that if you don’t insist that your priorities are in your day, other people will put their priorities into your day. I really appreciate Don Iveson for understanding that and making his family a priority. I hope other people will take note of his actions and try this approach as well!


Iveson also mentioned that he makes good nutrition a priority. Our Mayor is definitely a little bit different than other celebrities I know! ;) Good nutrition is something that a person can integrate into even a busy day at work. I am thrilled to hear that Mayor Iveson is promoting that.


After reading the article I really sensed that Iveson has integrated physical activity into his life as a key element. I love that he bikes to work when he can! He is not only promoting wellness, but also forms of transport that are better for the environment. With the ever growing bike lanes in Edmonton I can tell that Iveson’s passion for staying active is also helping our City.


Iveson left the reader of this article with some Corporate Wellness Tips that included turning your commute into a workout by walking or biking, walking on your lunch hour and taking the stairs instead of the elevator. I like those tips. Simple and realistic.


With Don Iveson at the helm, I wouldn’t be surprised if growth occurs in the Corporate Wellness Initiative internally at the City of Edmonton and other businesses follow suit!


I am very impressed with our Mayor. Nothing but good can come from his attitude towards wellness in general and also wellness in the workplace. I think when well-loved prominent people lead by example positive change is inspired. Kudos to you Don Iveson.  Thank you for spreading the wellness, especially promoting wellness in the workplace. It is a topic I am very passionate about as someone who owns a corporate wellness company.


Link to full article I referenced in this post:


Over and Out


April Smith

Owner, Vitalize Initiatives Inc.

April Smith, Owner of Vitalize Initiatives

The Importance of Workplace Wellness Growing in the Job Market

Monday, July 14th, 2014

I just ran across a job posting that clearly shows how vital workplace wellness and positive workplace culture are in today’s market.  Job postings like this are growing.  People are looking for more than just a job.  They want to be happy and well at work.


“At CPI, we’re not just constructing quality buildings; we’re constructing great careers. With a focus on building leaders, we empower our people to grow personally and professionally. We encourage opportunities to further an employee’s education and training. We offer competitive remuneration, and benefits including Health and Dental, Flex Days, and RRSP matching. We provide our employees with work life balance, fun social events, as well as opportunities to get involved with the work we do with our communities.”


It may be time to focus on the well-being of your employees and the culture of your workplace.

Give me a shout.  I can help.


April Smith – Owner Vitalize Initiatives Inc.


Why so much Stress in the Workplace?!

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013


Stress in the workplace is a huge challenge for many workplaces.  Stress can really harm employees physically, mentally and emotionally and make them much less productive.  The workshops I offer on stress are some of my most popular services.  People just really need help and positive guidance in dealing with stress.  Stress is a very powerful thing and can sometimes even lead to people requiring take time off for stress leave.  Avoiding that is definitely the goal!


Quite a few HR professionals, Workplace Wellness Coordinators, supervisors and general managers that hire me to talk to their staff ask why I think their people are so stressed out.  After listening to many office workers and shift workers for years, I do have a good feel for what people are indicating as their top stressors in the workplace.

These are the most common things I hear employees state as their greatest stressors at work:


Work/Life Balance- A Reality Check for the Teacher!

Friday, September 13th, 2013


I offer workshops on Work/Life Balance….but am I living it?  I asked myself that this morning.  It isn’t just some concept to be understood, it is one of those things that needs to be real in your life.  You can understand work/life balance but realistically be very far from achieving it.  As a business owner I want to ensure that is not me!!  It would certainly be easy to let that happen!


I have made a lot of mistakes.  Every mistake in the work/life balance book… and in other books for that matter.  ;)  I am not teaching on the topic because I am an angel that has always done everything perfectly.  I talk about work/life balance because I have lived the challenges and was thrown into the topic naturally about 12 years ago with Shift Workers.  Shift Workers have many challenges in the area of work/life balance so this first-hand experience really created a passion about work/life balance for me.


Ok…. Getting back to the topic.  Am I living a well-balanced life, or should I be sitting down with myself and running a workshop on myself?!?!


The Link Between Workplace Wellness and Workplace Culture

Friday, September 6th, 2013


I have been asked a few times lately about how Wellness in the workplace is related to the Culture within a workplace.  That is a good question.  So good that I thought I would chat about it today.


Both positive culture and wellness levels are sought after in today’s workplaces.  It is hard to attract, keep and motivate good employees in our current market. Thus, adding value for employees within an organization is vital to thrive.


But …… what is the difference between culture and wellness in the workplace?


Workplace wellness is actually an element of the culture in a workplace.  Wellness, of course, speaks to any component of employee wellbeing and health.  Some elements include employee stress, mental health, physical fitness, nutrition, general health, work/life balance, fatigue (also a safety issue), health in regards to sitting / standing / computer use, shift work health and wellbeing as well as positivity in the workplace etc.  Wellness in the workplace can be addressed in many ways.  Some examples being events, dissemination of information, workshops, corporate challenges and other initiatives.


Would You Condone Workers Drinking Vodka Before Work? If Not, Make Fatigue Management a Priority!

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

I am doing research on Shift Work and Fatigue this week so that I can do some updates on my Workplace Wellness and Safety Workshops.  I think it is pretty vital to keep the info in my workshops very current.


Whenever I dive into the world of fatigue I am strongly reminded just how crucial this topic is.  Accidents are happening due to fatigue.  A lot of accidents are happening.


Many people don’t realize that fatigue is impairment.  Experiencing fatigued is the same as being impaired.  Research shows that the symptoms and effects of fatigue are exactly the same as impairment through other avenues like alcohol.   Many workers are fatigued regularly, especially shift workers.  When I am running a workshop for anyone (shift workers, office workers etc.) and read them the list of fatigue symptoms, at least half of them will say that they have been fatigued in the last week!  This happens every single time I ask.  About a quarter of participants normally say that they are fatigued at that moment!  This isn’t just shift workers, this is office workers as well!  These answers are concerning to me.  This much fatigue within workplaces is both dangerous and terrible for productivity!


What can be done?