On Monday May 8th, the Chatham Health Alliance launched Worksite Wellness Chatham, a free worksite wellness toolkit aimed at obesity prevention. The toolkit was developed with feedback from Chatham County employers and in conjunction with the University Of North Carolina School Of Public Health, Health Behavior Master’s Capstone program.
Obesity is a preventable chronic disease associated with increased sick leave, absenteeism, risk of developing breast cancer, cardiovascular disease, musculoskeletal disorders, and stress. In the 2014 Community Health Assessment, obesity was identified as the number one health issue in Chatham County, with nearly 1 in 3 Chatham residents classified as obese. Factors underlying obesity include modifiable behaviors, including eating habits, physical activity, and diabetes management.
Research suggests that well-aligned, comprehensive worksite wellness programs are proven to improve these health behaviors and reduce obesity. In addition, worksite wellness programs have broad reach, and engaging the top five employers in Chatham County would reach almost 1 in 6 of Chatham’s residents.
Employees participating in worksite wellness programs benefit in a number of ways, including working in a safe and healthy work environment, reduced stress, improved morale, increased job satisfaction, increased skills for health protection, and overall improved health.
Not only do employees participating in worksite wellness programs benefit from participation, but employers benefit as well. Worksite wellness has been proven to improve employee productivity, reduce organizational turnover, and increase healthcare cost-saving through reduced absenteeism, disability leave, and decreased workers’ compensation costs.
The Worksite Wellness Chatham toolkit includes 1) a brief summary of the current evidence supporting worksite wellness, 2) an introduction to several free, ready-to-use programs, 3) recommended policy and environmental changes that impact worker health, and 4) a review of related local resources that are available free of charge to all Chatham employers. The toolkit can be downloaded at http://www.chathamhealthalliancenc.org/our-work/current-projects/worksite-wellness or a paper copy can be requested from the Chatham Health Alliance at email@example.com or 919-545-8443.
In addition to the toolkit, the Chatham Health Alliance is offering support and technical assistance in establishing worksite wellness programs. This includes conducting employee health needs assessments, setting up worksite wellness teams, using the Worksite Wellness Chatham toolkit, and planning for program sustainability.
If you are interested in using the toolkit, contact the Chatham Health Alliance at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 919-545-8443.
Worksite Wellness Chatham is an initiative of the Chatham Health Alliance, a community coalition working to improve health in Chatham County. To learn more about the Chatham Health Alliance visit www.chathamhealthalliancenc.org.