Get Outdoors Employer Toolkit
The Get Outdoors Employer Toolkit promotes a healthier Colorado workforce through the creation of a health and business-focused wellness survey and collection of free resources for businesses. Participating businesses will be eligible for the Governor’s Award presented at the Health Links event. The Colorado School of Public Health will be presenting the awards at a virtual ceremony this Fall (Date TBD).
Created in partnership with the Center for Health, Work and Environment at the Colorado School of Public Health, this program is tied closely to the Governor’s health initiative. The program’s goal is to integrate and promote the sustainable use of nature and outdoor recreation to enhance the health and well-being of diverse workforces and cultivate positive work environments.
Americans are spending less time outdoors. Roughly 90% of their time is spent inside buildings or vehicles. This migration indoors can be linked to a rise in health issues that come from a less active lifestyle. Beyond providing physical health benefits, research shows that outdoor recreation presents a suite of mental health benefits including a reduction in stress levels, improved well-being, and increased social connectedness.
We’ve developed a survey and resources that Colorado businesses can take advantage of to benchmark and learn best practices about these issues in an effort to promote a healthier lifestyle for employees.
Become a Participating Employer
STEP 1: Complete the Get Outdoors Employer Survey.
- All of your answers and comments are completely anonymous.
- The survey takes approximately 10 – 15 minutes to complete.
- Upon completion, an individualized impact card is generated and will be emailed to you within 5 – 7 business days.
STEP 2: Review the impact card results and recommendations and access the free resources below.
STEP 3: Implement recommendations to help you improve your workplace health and wellness initiatives through the outdoors and find yourself with happier, healthier employees.
The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) is working hard to help Coloradans navigate and recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Among the many resources already available on our COVID-19 Business Resource Center, we have also added to our toolkit below to ensure that businesses and employees have access to resources for staying healthy and active during Safer-at-Home. At this time:
- Continue to physically distance, staying at least 6 feet from members of other households.
- Stay home, other than getting tested if you are sick or have COVID-19 symptoms.
- Avoid recreating in public spaces if anyone in your household is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
- Encouraged to wear a mask while recreating.
- Bring hand sanitizer to clean hands when soap and water are not available.
Outdoor Industry news and COVID-19 resources:
During this public health crisis, spending time in outdoor spaces has become even more important for many Americans. Yet these unusual circumstances mean that all of us, from seasoned outdoor enthusiasts to families heading out to their local park for the first time, could use a little guidance about how to stay safe. The Recreate Responsibly guidelines offer a starting point for getting outside to keep yourself healthy and to maintain access to our parks, trails, and beaches.
Care for Colorado Resources and Care for Coloradans’ Responsible Tourism Toolkit
All Colorado organizations and units of government are free to use any of the materials in this toolkit to promote the Colorado Tourism Office’s latest view of responsible tourism — sharing care not only for Colorado destinations but for visitors and those who call our destinations home.
Webinars and Forums
Snow Sports Industry Covid-19 Facebook Forum
Outdoor Industry Webinars
Inside Voices Small Business Weekly Support Group
Colorado Search and Rescue Association
Colorado Avalanche Information Center
Protect Our Winters
Leave No Trace
The following resources help businesses proactively develop new programming around their health and wellness initiatives. If your organization provides resources to support employee wellness through the outdoors and would like to include it here, please email us!
Organizational and Leadership Values
Organizational support for outdoor access and recreation:
Access and Inclusivity
Equity, inclusivity, and access to the outdoors for all employees:
- Montbello Walks: Connects Montbello residents, youth, local businesses, elders, and more with one another and their surroundings. The walks range in length and span a variety of paces, abilities, and conditions.
- Walk2connect: Through connection-focused walking, communities become resilient voices that advance the importance of their own health, connection to their own community, walkable community design, and their unique pedestrian/mobility experience.
- Free entrance day to all Colorado State Parks
- Free entrance days in the National Parks
- Boulder PLAYPass: PLAYpass is a program that aims to reduce barriers to fee-based participation in sport and recreation programs, so all Boulder youth have the opportunity to thrive and live healthy, active lifestyles.
- Ampt Biking: Ampt Biking is outreach with the purpose of encouraging and empowering amputees through biking. Whether it be road, mountain, BMX, or any other kind of riding, life does not end after the loss of limb. Often this is the perception of an amputee, especially right after surgery. Ampt’s goal is to show that life is not done and that we can still get out there and live!
Health Promotion and Policies
Policies and practices to promote outdoor use for employees:
- COTrex App: A free app for accessing all Colorado trails.
- Hiking Project: Get out on the trail with detailed maps shared by hikers like you.
- Mountain Bike Project: This website and app provide mountain bike trail maps.
- Oh, Ranger! Park Finder: An app to find nearby public land. Includes forests, refuges, parks and more.
- National Parks by Chimani: A travel guide app for National Parks, includes maps, audio tours, and more.
- Calisthenics Parks: Outdoor Colorado parks with calisthenic exercise stations.
- Fact Sheet: Adult Health and Nature: Developed by the National Environmental Education Foundation.
- Move Your Way: Move Your Way is a physical activity campaign from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to promote the recommendations from the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.
- Colorado Tourism Office outdoor activity recommendations
- San Luis Valley Great Outdoors: SLVGO provides residents and visitors throughout the San Luis Valley with accessible and inclusive outdoor recreation opportunities that connect communities, improve wellness, encourage stewardship, and contribute to the economic vitality of the region.
- Cairn Guides:Cairn Guides specializes in providing affordable, customized outdoor experiences based on what clients want to experience. Personalized experiences are meant to create sustainable lifestyle changes, increase the likelihood of future outdoor participation, and highlight the mental health benefits outdoor activities offer.
- Exercise is Medicine: The vision of Exercise is Medicine (EIM), is to make physical activity assessment and promotion a standard in clinical care, connecting health care with evidence-based physical activity resources for people everywhere and of all abilities.
- SHIFT Rx Challenge: Take your doctor’s recommendations for physical activity outside with the SHIFT Rx Challenge.
- Trailforks: A trail database, map, and management system for users, builders, and associations.
- Trailhead Institute: The purpose is for Trailhead to serve as the launching point for positive and sustainable new paths forward. And good health for all Coloradans.
- American Heart Association Move More Campaign: Find forms of exercise you like and will stick with, and build more opportunities to be active in your routine.
Education and Conservation
Fostering stewardship and connection to the outdoors:
- Sunwise: Get daily forecasts of the sun’s harmful radiation and ways to protect yourself.
- Are You Colo-Ready? Tips for preparing for Colorado outdoors and Leave No Trace principles.
- Care for Colorado Principles Toolkit (CTO): With a shared goal of inspiring both Colorado residents and visitors to protect Colorado’s special places, the Colorado Tourism Office (CTO) and the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics collaborated in 2018 to create the Care for Colorado Principles.
- Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado: VOC works with conservation and land agencies and relies on thousands of people annually to provide a volunteer workforce for outdoor stewardship projects.
- Leave No Trace: Leave No Trace provides research, education, and initiatives so every person who ventures outside can protect and enjoy our world responsibly.