STEUBENVILLE - Trinity Health System 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 Trinity Health System. We are honored and excited to be recognized by the American Heart Association as a Platinum-Level Fit-Friendly Worksite," said Erin Menzel, Trinity wellness coordinator. "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.
Menzell added, "We have conducted multiple physical activity programs such as WalkingWorks and the basketball/volleyball competition between employees. We are also in the middle of a weight loss competition that emphasizes healthy eating and exercise. The Fit-Friendly Worksites program is a catalyst for positive change in the American work force by helping worksites makes their employees' health and wellness a priority."
American employers are losing an estimated $225.8 billion a year because of health care expenses and health-related losses in productivity, and those numbers are rising, according to officials. Many American adults spend most of their waking hours at sedentary jobs. A lack of regular physical activity raises the 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, according to officials. 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. Qualifying worksites also have the right to use the program's annual recognition seal for internal communications and with external, recruitment-related communications.
"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 Menzel. "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."