Black River Falls, June 16, 2016 - Black River Memorial Hospital (BRMH) 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 BRMH. We are honored and excited to be recognized by the American Heart Association as a Platinum-Level Fit-Friendly Worksite," said BRMH CEO, Mary Beth White-Jacobs. "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.
Some initiatives BRMH put into place to promote wellness in the workplace include twelve individual Fitbit challenges throughout the last year, a tobacco-cessation trivia contest, a holiday time "maintain versus gain" contest and a newly branded BWELLthy lunch program.
The Fit-Friendly Worksites program is a catalyst for positive change in the American workforce. By utilizing this program, the health and well-being of a company's employees becomes 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. They are listed on the program's national website and qualifying worksites have the right to use the program's annual recognition seal for internal documents and external recruitment-related communications.
"The Fit-Friendly Worksites Program offers easy-to-implement ways for organizations to help employees eat better and move more, which will help improve their health - and their employer's bottom line," said BRMH Rehabilitation Director, Nicole Schweitzer. "Even people who haven't exercised regularly until middle age can reap significant benefits by starting a walking program." Leisure-time physical activity, even at relatively low levels, is associated with longer life expectancy. According to a research study published by the National Institutes of Health in 2012, life expectancy is 3.4 years longer for people who get the recommended amount of physical activity. Even people who only get half of the recommended amount of physical activity can increase their life expectancy by an additional 1.8 years.
For more information about the Fit-Friendly Worksites program, visit heart.org/worksitewellness.