Employee Wellness Program Jeopardy

Since the popular game show Jeopardy first aired in the spring of 1964, viewers have eagerly tuned in each day to see if they’re as smart as the contestants. Tap into this same enthusiasm with a wellness version that teaches and reinforces employee health promotion messages as people simply have fun.

Wellness Program Jeopardy works equally well as a corporate wellness initiative or in any organization. Hold the game in a lunch/break room or conference room where employees can watch while they eat and relax. Or promote it as entertainment during a larger initiative, such as a health fair.

Choose the categories according to program goals, for instance:

  • General components of health promotion — Fitness, tobacco, stress, nutrition, weight management, preventive health care
  • Targeted employee health issues/workplace priorities — Communication skills, conflict management, benefit plans, safety, ergonomics, shift work health, employee assistance programs
  • Support for a current wellness campaign, such as fitness — Aerobic conditioning, anaerobic exercise, strength building, flexibility, performance-enhancing drugs, supplements.

You can gather ideas for questions from focus groups, Internet, library, past wellness programs, or internal databases.

The game’s basic rules are online; try ehow.com/about_5344112_official-rules-jeopardy-game.html. It requires at least 2 or 3 players (try pitting teams with multiple players against each other instead), an emcee to give the correct questions, and a scorekeeper. Players will need a buzzer or bell, markers, and sheets of papers for Final Wellness Jeopardy.

Since it will be observed by an audience, be sure the game board is large enough to see from a distance — using low tech or high tech.

Low Tech

  • Mark poster or foam board into a grid with 5 columns across and 6 rows down. Each cell should be big enough to hold 2 point or prize amounts. Make outlines on the top row more prominent to accommodate sheets of paper with the categories written on them.
  • Put binder clips on the top of the blank squares across the top row, then attach the papers with the categories.
  • Create 30 answers and corresponding questions for each round of play (5 questions for each of the 6 categories).
  • Write the answers on 30 different large index cards, with the answers and matching questions on a key for the emcee.
  • Record the point or prize amount on the reverse of the index cards. Leave the top row blank, filling in the rest of the grid with the index cards pinned in place under the proper categories (answer side down, point/prize side up) on the board. They should be in ascending order, with the questions getting more difficult as their value goes up. By putting in 2 amounts in each square, this same board can be used for both Single and Double Wellness Jeopardy.
  • Prop or fasten the game board against a wall or easel.
  • Tip: Secure another binder clip in the top corner of the board to hold an index card that says Single on one side and Double on the other. To remind players what round they’re on.

High Tech

  • Create a digital grid template (using PowerPoint or similar software) with the Table application.
  • Make a slide for each cell of the grid that the emcee can click through the Slide Sorter or a hyperlink when a contestant chooses it. The answer will then be visible to the players and audience. The matching question is placed in the Notes Page where only the emcee can see it.
  • Fill in the categories, questions, and points for every new game once this template is created.

Tip: Give each column and the corresponding answer slides a different color background to help the emcee find the answer more quickly.

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Remember: Making wellness fun doesn’t mean you’re not also thinking about your program’s serious aspects. It does mean participants are more likely to stick with the habits they learn for long-term health improvement.