This season, tap into the health conscious zeitgeist and look for healthy gifts for your co-workers.
The trick is not to choose something that can be mistaken as a hint - for example, you don't want to give a colleague the idea that you think she should lose weight.
If you’re the boss and buying in bulk, Staples Advantage has a slew of health-conscious products you can put your company logo on. Here are some other healthy gift ideas:
1. Yoga mat. About 16 million Americans practice yoga, and that doesn’t include pilates people or other exercisers who need their own mats for hygiene’s sake. Look for mats printed with yogic images, or have them monogrammed with your co-workers’ initials. Check out the Prosperity mat – you can find it at Target.
2. Personalized water bottle. People who work out can always use new water bottles to replace their old mildewed ones, or those they’ve forgotten at the gym. Or maybe you have a co-worker who likes to sip on water at their desk. In fact, a BPA-free bottle personalized with your colleague’s name, like these found at Greensender, might help her hold onto it for longer. Plus, she’ll be helping the environment by reducing the amount of disposable water bottles she uses.
3. Personal air filter. Give the gift of fresh air. These air filters are small enough to sit on your desk and clear your cubicle or office of pollutants and odors. You can go for the terrestrial- looking Blueair CleanAir Ball or aim for humor with the shark-shaped purifier.
4. Pedometer. A great gift for a co-worker who walks to work or enjoys walking or jogging. It's fun to total up your progress—both steps walked and calories burned. Check out this USB pedometer, which you wear around your neck to records your distance. You can then plug it into your computer and track your progress through charts and graphs.
5. Bucky balls. If you need to do something with your hands while you’re being creative or you just need to take a mental break, bucky balls are amazing desk-side entertainment. These teeny but super strong rare earth magnetic balls can be formed into shapes, or simply pushed around with your fingers for a tactile experience.
6. Chai tea sampler. Chai is a blend of spices and herbs, and can come in all kinds of aromatic blends. Pair the teas with an infuser Chai mug. You add your loose tea to a basket, fill the mug with hot water, and lower in the basket to brew.
7. Spa bundle. Treat your co-workers to some at-home spa treatments that they wouldn’t normally buy for themselves. Wrap up a few containers of seaweed body polish, exfoliating scrubs, sea salt soaks, and a facial cleansing mitt or loofah sponge.
Laurie Tarkan is an award-winning health journalist whose work appears in the New York Times, among other national magazines and websites. She has authored several health books, including "Perfect Hormone Balance for Fertility." Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.