Worksites take steps to decrease healthcare expenses, increase productivity
Napoleon, April 29, 2013 – Henry County Hospital has been recognized
as a Platinum-Level Fit-Friendly Worksite by the American Heart Association
for helping employees eat better and move more.
"Physical activity and employee wellness are important priorities
at Henry County Hospital. We are honored and excited to be recognized
by the American Heart Association as a Platinum-Level Fit-Friendly Worksite,"
said Kim Bordenkircher, Henry County Hospital chief executive officer.
"We're committed to providing the best workplace environment
possible. This will benefit our employees' health and produce even
more positive results for our worksite overall."
• Offer employees physical activity options in the workplace.
• Increase healthy eating options at the worksite.
• Promote a wellness culture in the workplace.
• Implement at least nine criteria outlined by the American Heart
Association in the areas of physical activity, nutrition and culture.
• Demonstrate measurable outcomes related to workplace wellness.
Each day Henry County Hospital employees work they have an opportunity
to take up to a 30 minute "Break for Health" that is considered
part of their work day. A "Break for Health" encourages movement
and each break is an individual choice made by employees (i.e. walking,
yoga, Wii Just Dance, etc...). Henry County Hospital also offers employees
an annual health risk assessment at no charge. The annual assessment provides
employees with a summary of their health and well-being, noting strengths
and identifying opportunities for improvement. In order to promote healthy
nutrition habits, Henry County Hospital also encourages participation
in a monthly coupon program that asks employees to make four healthy food
or beverage choices each day. If the employee meets the established requirements
they receive a coupon for up to $2.00 of healthy foods in the Café.
The Fit-Friendly Worksites program is a catalyst for positive change in
the American workforce by helping worksites make their employees'
health and wellness a priority.
American employers are losing an estimated $225.8 billion a year because
of healthcare expenses and health-related losses in productivity, and
those numbers are rising. Many American adults spend most of their waking
hours at sedentary jobs. Their lack of regular physical activity raises
their risk for a host of medical problems, such as obesity, high blood
pressure and diabetes. Employers face $12.7 billion in annual medical
expenses due to obesity alone. The American Heart Association is working
to change corporate cultures by motivating employees to start walking,
which has the lowest dropout rate of any physical activity.
Recognition is a critical component of the Fit-Friendly Worksites program.
Employers that join this program qualify for official recognition by the
American Heart Association. Recipients are listed on the program's
national website, as well as Henry County Hospital's website and Facebook
page. They are also recognized at local Heart Walks and in local newspapers.
Qualifying worksites also have the right to use the program's annual
recognition seal for internal communications and with external, recruitment-related
"The Fit-Friendly Worksites Program offers a unique, easy-to-implement
opportunity for corporations to increase employees' physical activity,
which will help improve their health – and their employers'
bottom line," said Allyson France, AHA. "Even people who haven't
exercised regularly until middle age can reap significant benefits by
starting a walking program. A study published in 1986 in the New England
Journal of Medicine found that some adults may gain two hours of life
expectancy for every hour of regular, vigorous exercise they performed."
For more information about the Fit-Friendly Worksites program and how it
is helping to improve the health of Americans by focusing on an activity
that is convenient, free and easy, call 419-740-6180 or visit startwalkingnow.org.