Wouldn’t you love to come to work at a place that made you healthier? If you could find fresh fruit in the break-room, tobacco-free outdoor areas to eat lunch and spend your break walking with co-workers, wouldn’t you feel better? A work environment that provides healthy choices is better for your health and better for business.
Employees spend at least a third of their day in the workplace. With the pressures of family life and other responsibilities, it can be difficult to maintain an exercise schedule or get to the store to purchase fruits and vegetables. By finding creative ways to help employees reach their wellness goals during the workday, employers can remove barriers to healthy living.
They can do this by providing easy access to nutritious foods, opportunities for physical activity, and support for tobacco cessation. Healthier employees use less sick time, are more productive and have lower health care costs than unhealthy employees.
The Mecklenburg County Health Department’s Fit City Challenge Program has received an ACHIEVE (Action Communities for Health, Innovation and EnVironmental Change) grant from the Centers for Disease Control and the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors. The grant has enabled the Mecklenburg County Health Department to create the Worksite Wellness Policy Council of Mecklenburg County to develop policy and environmental changes within the workplace that have a positive influence on employee health. These policies will target healthy eating and physical activity in the workplace, as well as tobacco cessation
“Worksites that support healthy choices can have an impact on the cost of healthcare for our business community,” states Charlotte Chamber of Commerce President and Policy Council Member Bob Morgan. “Providing resources and guidance for creating worksite wellness programs is a practical way to impact the health of our community and I am glad to participate in this innovative program to serve Mecklenburg County businesses.”
“Many employers are feeling the financial burden of rising medical costs and are looking for ways to create an effective wellness program on a limited budget.” explains Julie Jackman, Fit City Worksite Wellness Program Coordinator, “The Worksite Wellness Policy Council of Mecklenburg County is creating a network of support and resources for businesses in our community to guide them in making changes to their work environment that support healthy lifestyles.” Businesses can benefit from providing a healthier work environment and employees will thank them for it!
“Mecklenburg County has the expertise and resources to create a healthier community,” explains Dianne Thomas, Fit City Director and Policy Council Co-Chair. “By focusing on the business community, where people spend so much of their day, we can impact employees’ health. We also know that employees who model healthy behavior at work can serve as role models at home for their families.”
For more information on how to create a healthier community visit www.fitcitychallenge.org.
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