How to Encourage Church Members To Be Healthy

Health Fair Planning and Activities for Churches

medical staff
One of the best ways to promote your church's visibility and do something great for the betterment of your community, health fairs have become increasingly popular over the last few years. With soaring rates of heart disease, obesity, and cancer threatening the health of Americans, in particular, organizing and promoting a health fair will provide exposure for your church and benefit the lives of those around you.

Organizing a Health Fair
A lot goes into organizing a full-feature health fair. You may consider working with a religious team or committee to help delegate the responsibilities of budgeting, planning, communicating, and implementing.

At the least, you'll need a location and lots of volunteers from local health care agencies and professional organizations, such as hospitals, doctor's offices, the Red Cross, emergency services, and others. Putting together a health care can be done quickly, but we recommend beginning at least 3 months in advance of your intended date.

What is a Health Fair, Anyway?
Health fairs are just what they sound like -- events with booths, activities, and presentations designed to show attendees a good time while also educating them in the interest of leading healthier lifestyles. The term "infotainment" is sometimes used for an event of this kind.

Health fairs are generally scheduled for a nice weekend when people will appreciate being outdoors, though the event can also be held indoors at the discretion of your planning committee.

Health Fair Activities
Health fair activities generally fall into two categories: booths and presentations. Generally, both kinds of activities at your health fair will be run by volunteers from local organizations.

Think about asking people to run the following stands:
  • Blood Pressure Screenings.
  • Cholesterol Screenings.
  • Back Health, hosted by a local chiropractor.
  • Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety.
  • CPR & First Aid Demonstrations by EMTs, with ambulance tour.
  • Dental Care, hosted by local dentist or dental hygienist.
  • Handwashing Importance, using glitter, one bowl with soap and water, and one bowl with just water, demonstrating that "germs" (glitter) is easier to remove with soap and water than with water alone.
  • Poisonous Animal Awareness hosted by Poison Control or local veterinarians.
  • Skin Cancer Prevention, hosted by dermatologist.
  • Tobacco Use Prevention.

Presentations are a great way for people to get off their feet, learn something, and interact with speakers. Think about hosting presenters on topics like these:
  • Healthy Grocery Shopping and Diet, presented by a nutritionist.
  • Healthy Cooking, presented by a local chef.
  • The Benefits of Stretching, presented by a fitness instructor, coach, or gym teacher.
  • Healthy Relationships, presented by a psychiatrist, psychologist, or psychotherapist.
  • Alternative and Eastern Medicines, presented by an acupuncturist, massage therapist, or herbalist.
  • Home Remedies, presented by a wise and practical member of your congregation.

Other Health Fair Ideas
In addition to the basics of health fairs, you may consider adding some actual physical activity to your day -- something like an afternoon volleyball game or a bike-a-thon or fun run and walk.

Additionally, the draw of a health fair can be a great way for your religious group to fundraise, as well. Consider pairing this "get healthy" initiative with a "get healthy" bake sale, where everything sold for charity is low-fat, nutritious, and delicious!

Written by: Bob Robertson