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21 Fun Ways to Observe National Nutrition Month in Your Workplace

February 24 - Posted at 10:08 AM Tagged: , , ,

March is National Nutrition Month and an excellent time to talk about healthy eating.

Not only that, it’s a great way to spread awareness about a healthy lifestyle and smart dieting in the workplace.

Given that 42% of Americans are considered obese, it’s essential to tackle this topic in workplace health programs. Obesity leads to serious, chronic health issues like heart disease, diabetes, and even some cancers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

For workplaces, this can lead to issues with employee absences, increased healthcare costs, and lowered productivity.

Below, explore 21 unique and fun ways to talk about nutrition this month!

Workplace National Nutrition Month Ideas to Explore

Each year in March, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics invites the public to learn more about nutrition. The annual campaign was created by the academy to inspire individuals to develop healthy eating habits and make informed food choices.

The 21 ideas below are easy ways to get talking about smart eating habits at work.

1. Explore Colleague Cultures Through Food

The theme for this year’s National Nutrition Month is “Celebrate a World of Flavors.” Highlight employees’ heritage and cultural customs around food this month by having them bring in specialty dishes that are unique to their culture. Doing so offers a special, inclusive event that can open up discussion about both nutrition and culture.

2. Promote Free Nutrition Resources

Not surprisingly, there are a ton of ways to get free, reputable nutrition facts to share with your employees. Check out the printable resources you can hang up around the workplace or email to workers on the Nutrition.gov site. Get insight on everything from recipes to food waste prevention to food safety information.

3. Share the Free Shop Simple App

There’s a longstanding rumor that eating well is costly. With the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s free Shop Simple appit makes it easier to eat well for less. Not only does it locate stores that accept SNAP, but it also provides budget-friendly recipes for all budgets. One of the best parts of the app? It also shows local farmers market events. 

4. Try a 30-Day Fruit & Veggie Challenge

Everyone could eat more fruits and veggies, right? Each week, this challenge offers a goal to hit within seven days — starting simple with eating at least one fruit and veggie the first week and progressing from there. The ultimate goal is to aim for five fruits and veggies daily!

5. Start a Workplace Garden

It’s easier than it sounds, we promise. Plus, there’s no doubt you have at least one green thumb in the office who loves to garden! Aside from learning more about how natural food grows, research shows that gardening also helps alleviate issues like depression, too. That’s a double workplace wellness win. Check out our post, The TotalWellness Garden Project for more details on starting one!

6. Have a Blind Taste Test Contest

If you have an adventurous office, a blind taste test contest can be a lot of fun. Have plates of healthy foods like guava, pickles, kimchi, jicama sticks, and more. Blindfold two “contestants” and have them try the foods. Whoever guesses the most foods correctly wins a grocery gift card. Do a few rounds with different foods to let the employees who want to participate do so. Just be sure to ask about food allergies!

7. Offer a Healthy Eating Punch Card

Create a punch card or stamp card that your team members can use for National Nutrition Month. For every meal they eat a fruit and veggie, they get a stamp. After 30 stamps or punched spots, offer them a reward like a grocery gift card.

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May is Blood Pressure Month

May 22 - Posted at 2:01 PM Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , ,

May is Blood Pressure Month and everyone should understand what is high blood pressure and why it is dangerous.

 

Blood pressure measures the force of blood that travels through your arteries. If it is too high, it is a risk factor for heart disease, stroke, and other complication. High blood pressure is often referred to as the “silent killer” because most of the time, it has no symptoms. Blood pressure readings are recorded as a fraction, with systolic pressure over diastolic pressure (i.e. 120/80 mm Hg or 120 over 80).

 

Do you know what each pressure measures and its importance?Do you know what is considered “high” blood reading? Do you know what causes high blood pressure and can it be prevented?

 

If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, it can often times be treated through lifestyle modifications and sometimes even medications. Lifestyle changes include reaching and maintaining a healthy weight, following a DASH diet, limiting sodium intake, becoming more active, limiting alcohol intake, and quit smoking.

 

Educating employees on the importance of monitoring their blood pressure and ensuring they understand how it impacts their overall health can help ensure a healthy workforce. Please contact our office for a copy of a free blood pressure newsletter you can use to help educate your employees on living a healthy lifestyle.

According to a recent employer survey by the nonprofit National Business Group on Health and Fidelity Investments, corporate employers plan on spending an average of $521 per employee on wellness-based incentives in 2013.  This marks a 13% increase from the average of $460 per employee in 2011 and almost doubles the per employee average from 2009.

 

The survey also found that the overall use of these incentives among corporate employers continues to increase. 86% of employers surveyed indicated that they offered wellness-based incentives.

 

The most populate wellness-based incentives continue to be:

 

  • A decrease in premiums

 

  • Cash or gift cards

 

  • Employer sponsored contribution to an H.S.A. or similar health care savings vehicle

 

 

A large majority of employers (54%) have also expanded their wellness-based incentives to include dependents as well.  As part of the wellness incentives, employer are requiring employees to complete a health activity- like an employer sponsored biometric screening or health risk assessment- in order to determine their eligibility for the company’s health plans in 2013.  Some employers are even taking steps as far informing employees that their failure to complete a health risk assessment may result in the employee being moved automatically into a less attractive medical plan offered by the company or even completely being removing them from the health coverage.

 

Forty-one percent of employers include, or plan to include, an outcomes based metrics as part of their incentive program. This will give both the employer and employees a measurable goal that can be used to reward behavior or results in certain health categories, such as lowering cholesterol or blood pressure or their waist line.

Blood Donation Payroll Stuffer

January 15 - Posted at 3:02 PM Tagged: ,

Our payroll stuffer this month will focus on the important topic of Blood Donation. It covers topics imporant to your employees such as:

 

  • What to Expect When Giving Blood
  • Becoming a Blood Lifesaver
  • Don’t Be Reluctant to Donate Blood
  • Who Should Wait to Donate or Not Donate Blood

 

For the full version of this document, please contact luann@visitaag.com.

 

Thank you.

Surviving the Holidays Payroll Stuffer

December 14 - Posted at 1:58 PM Tagged: ,

Our payroll stuffer this month will focus on the important topic of Surviving the Holidays. It covers topics imporant to your employees such as:

 

  • How to Fit in Exercise During the Holidays
  • Holiday Food Safety Tips
  • How to Keep Your Heart Healthy During the Holidays
  • Dos and Don’ts for People with Diabetes

 

For the full version of this document, please contact luann@visitaag.com.

 

Thank you.

UHC Fitness Reimbursement Program

December 04 - Posted at 3:02 PM Tagged: , , ,

UnitedHealthcare is launching a new Fitness Reimbursement Program for members starting January 1, 2013.

 

The Fitness Reimbursement program offers money back for members who go to the gym on a regular basis. Here is how the program works:

 

    • Choose a participating fitness center from UHC’s network including facilities such as 24 Hour Fitness, Anytime Fitness, Blink Fitness, Curves, Life Time Fitness, Gold’s Gym, Snap Fitness, the Y and many independent locations.

 

    • Present your fitness ID card each time you visit the fitness center

 

    • Get reimbursed $20/mth (up to an annual max of $240) for every month you visit the fitness center at least 12 times. The reimbursement will be deposited directly into your bank account or credited to your fitness center membership dues, depending on the fitness center you select.

 

    • The program is available to covered employees and covered spouses enrolled in a UHC medical policy.

 

Please contact our office for a copy of the UHC flyer to distribute to employees to help promote the new program.

Breast Cancer Awareness

October 15 - Posted at 1:55 PM Tagged: ,

Our payroll stuffer this month will focus on the important topic of Breast Cancer Awareness. It covers topics imporant to your employees such as:

 

  • How Breast Cancer is Diagnosed
  • Breast Cancer Myths
  • Treatment Options
  • Support After Breast Cancer

 

For the full version of this document, please contact luann@visitaag.com.

Thank you.

October 2012- Monthly Topic

October 11 - Posted at 6:27 PM Tagged:

The topic for this month focuses on the current healthcare landscape and the role of wellness in the near future.

 

Did you know? Chronic diseases related to lifestyles account for 75% of national medical costs. Eleven separate studies by the CDC suggest that worksite wellness programs can produce significant improvements in employee health.

 

What steps is your company currently taking to promote wellness in the workplace?

 

Please contact us directly for more information.

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