The Fall edition of the award-winning “Eat Well Live Well Challenge,” an employee wellness program promoted by the nonprofit Wellness Institute of Greater Buffalo, is right around the corner, and the Institute is inviting all Western New York employers and organizations to help promote healthier lifestyles.
This results-focused wellness program, provided by Wegmans Markets, challenges participants to increase their physical activity and make good nutrition choices. Together, these actions enable individuals to improve their health and lower their risk for unnecessary medical costs from chronic illnesses.
Healthier employees also benefit employers — and the communities they are located in — through improved workplace productivity and morale while positively impacting job retention and job creation.
“Participants are asked to do three simple things for eight weeks,” said Wellness Institute Executive Director Philip Haberstro (www.CreatingHealthyCommunities.org). “All employees have to do is use a pedometer to record their steps each day, record the number of cups of fruit and vegetables eaten each day, and aim to make at least one meal a day follow the health-promoting ‘half-plate guide.’ Participants may also track their blood pressure and weight if they so choose.”
Western New York statistics show that more than 60 percent of our adult population is insufficiently physically active and overweight, resulting in an increase in the number of diabetes cases. Obesity and physical inactivity account for 25 to 30 percent of several major cancers and put employees at greater risk of cardiovascular disease, including high blood pressure and stroke. All of these preventable chronic diseases increase community sickness care spending.
“That’s where Eat Well Live Well comes in,” added Haberstro. “The Eat Well Live Well Challenge is a proven health promotion program that requires a minimal amount of time and investment for a powerful return. Participants need only walking shoes, pedometers and the desire to be healthy! It’s a very simple, confidential and productive way to engage employees and family members to lead a healthier lifestyle. Employers from all sectors will discover that the program results in greater teamwork, builds camaraderie and complements existing efforts to manage health costs.”
To learn more about the Challenge, please enroll in one of the free upcoming informational sessions. These brief meetings will take place from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 29, or Friday, Sept. 13. Participants need only attend one informational session, to be held at the Wegmans store at 651 Dick Road, Depew, in the corporate office conference room. Advance registration is required by calling 851-4052 or emailing email@example.com. Up to two employees per organization may attend, and please note that space is limited.
The website www.eatwelllivewell.org, free for employers, employees and community organizations, offers user-friendly support and resources to help participants achieve their wellness goals.
“With more than 220,000 participants nationally, the Eat Well Live Well Challenge has received national recognition and a Certificate of Recognition for Outstanding Prevention Efforts from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,” said Haberstro. “The Challenge has been successfully implemented for several years in the Buffalo-Niagara region, with participation from employers such as Rich Products, New Era Cap, American Red Cross, Walsh Insurance Group, M&T Bank, University at Buffalo, Town of Tonawanda Police and the Buffalo Public School System.”