The nonprofit Wellness Institute of Greater Buffalo and its partners will soon start their fall “Eat Well Live Well Challenge,” an employee wellness program designed for Western New York employers and organizations to help promote healthier lifestyles.
The program, provided by Wegmans, challenges participants to increase their physical activity and make good nutrition choices. Together, these actions help people to boost their health and lower their risk for unnecessary medical costs from chronic illnesses.
From an employer and community standpoint, it also improves workplace productivity and morale, as well as job retention and job creation.
“Participants are asked to do three simple things for eight weeks,” Wellness Institute Executive Director Philip Haberstro said in a news release. “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.”
More than 60 percent of the region’s adult population is insufficiently physically active and overweight, according to the Wellness Institute, resulting in an increase in the number of diabetes cases. Obesity and physical inactivity account for 25 percent 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, enroll in one of two free upcoming information sessions, from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. Aug. 29 and Sept. 13 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Up to two employees per organization may attend.