Winter Wellness Challenge at Region 1 Supported by New Onsite Fitness Center

Active SWV Workplace Wellness Program

Active SWV’s Workplace Wellness Program helps employers in southern West Virginia improve the health of employees by introducing healthy initiatives into the workplace. Many people spend a significant portion of their lives at work, which is why it’s imperative that workplaces prioritize health initiatives that are simple to understand, inexpensive to implement, and last beyond onetime events.

Active SWV’s Workplace Wellness program will provide structure and support for a multi-year approach to evidence based action items designed to improve health in the workplace by using a CDC health scorecard to measure results. Training in the [email protected] program is provided to participating workplaces. [email protected]® is an employer-based training program, aiming to improve the organizational health of participating employers and certified trainers. The program helps introduce strategies around chronic disease reduction and injury risk to employees, while having an eye to improving overall worker productivity.

Only ten workplaces in West Virginia are [email protected] certified. Out of twelve business sites participating in Active SWV’s Workplace Wellness program, five have the certification and five more are currently receiving the [email protected] certification training from Active SWV.

Region 1: Partners in Action

Region 1: Partners in Action have been participating in Active SWV’s Workplace Wellness Program since 2018, and are one of the five sites that are currently receiving the [email protected] certification training. Over the years, their Wellness Committee has worked with Active SWV to put together employee wellness challenges to create a healthier work environment. Region 1 recently applied for and received a $1,000 mini-grant provided by Active SWV and Active SWV and West Virginia Division of Health Promotion and Chronic Disease  to put on a winter wellness challenge and convert empty office space into a workplace fitness center. The wellness challenge will be a way to introduce employees to the fitness center, encourages them to use the space over the course of the challenge and beyond.

Alyce Almond has worked with Active SWV from the beginning of Region 1’s involvement with the Workplace Wellness program, and is well positioned to reflect on their progress so far. ‘It has been enjoyable to be part of the planning with the Wellness Committee, and I feel very supported by the Active SWV staff’, she says. ‘This is the beginning of our 3rd year with the Workplace Wellness program, and one of the benefits we see is the improved relationships between the agencies in our office building. We are increasing our referrals through better cooperative services. It gets everyone knowing each other better in a supportive way.’

The January 13th wellness center opening event was the perfect launching platform for Region 1’s winter wellness challenge. To begin the challenge, each of the 20 Region 1 employee participants stepped onto a Tanita scale to find their initial metabolic age. Rather than measuring a single indicator like weight or blood pressure, the wellness challenge uses metabolic age as a health indicator that can be measured at regular intervals to track progress. For the challenge, participants will be weighed again every two weeks to record their changes in that area.

Certified Health Coach Dewana Waters conducted the metabolic age weigh-in, and will be available to provide free coaching and wellness tips to employees who choose to participate in the wellness challenge. At the kickoff event, Dewana also presented information on how to prepare your attitude to start a health improvement plan to get the participants ready and excited to start their wellness challenge.

The new Region 1 fitness facility will be open throughout the day and employees are encouraged to use it before, during, and after work hours to make healthy strides towards lowering their metabolic age. For the challenge, each participant will also complete a pre and post survey to track changes in their perceived health, activity levels, and attitudes about physical activity throughout the eight weeks.

Region 1 employee and wellness challenge participant Bridgit is excited about the new fitness center opening – ‘I am excited to start this challenge to help me become more productive throughout the day’, she says. ‘I plan to use the onsite fitness center before and after work’

The fitness center is also open to family members of employees, inspiring families to get active together and expanding the reach of the facility into the community. The photos below were taken in the new fitness center at the kickoff event.

Stay Active with FREE Active SWV programs

Does biking, hiking, walking, stand up paddle boarding, rock climbing, water aerobics, tai chi, yoga, or running sound like activities you might want to try? Depending on the season, Active SWV offers all these activities, led by volunteers from the community. All programs are designed to be free and beginner level so everyone can feel confident participating in these weekly and monthly activities.

Look out for our monthly program flier listing available activities for the month, and be sure to check our website calendar for more information on directions and locations. Also follow Active SWV on Facebook to stay up to date on news, updates, and signature events.

Attending programs and sharing these resources with co workers is a great way to make steps towards being healthier both in and out of the workplace!

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