Since 2005, PSC has offered a variety of worksite wellness activities for its employees. It all began out of my interest to promote health-related topics throughout the firm. The scope of activities and participation has evolved over the last several years. Initially, I promoted a “fruit and vegetable of the month.” I also shared information with employees to raise awareness for mental health; regular annual physicals; and screenings for breast, prostate, and colon cancers. These educational activities piqued the interest of other employees and the leadership of the firm, and my initiative evolved from awareness to engagement. Thanks to a suggestion a colleague received at an environmental conference, PSC’s “Healthy Habits Game” was born.
The healthy habits game was designed to help participants develop good health habits—one week at a time. The actions aim to help participants increase their level of physical activity, improve nutrition, and bring attention to other improvements for overall well-being (e.g., smoking cessation, stress reduction, dental care). Examples of activities that our staff have worked to complete are: counting steps using a pedometer; engaging in physical activity for at least 30 minutes a day, 3 and 5 times per week; exercising using weights or resistance for 20 minutes, at least 2 times per week; eating five or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day; limiting sweets; reducing consumption of fast food and caffeinated beverages; and sleeping for seven hours per night.
Annually, employees’ needs are assessed and information is compiled on healthy living recommendations from national health experts at the Centers for Disease Control, United States Department of Agriculture, and other organizations such as the American Heart Association, the Mayo Clinic, the Wellness Councils of America, etc. Participants are sent an e-mail each week that describes the health activity and provides information on how the selected behavior is an effective means to improve health. Individuals track their progress and submit their final tallies at the end of the game. We recently wrapped up our latest healthy habits game. Congratulations to Lynne Clark and Janice Jackson, our two top point earners.
In addition to the healthy habits game, employees at the firm have participated in soccer and softball teams; 5K runs; group walks to downtown Lansing for lunch; informational brown bag lunches; building a community garden with the Food System Project of the Northwest Lansing Initiative; and commuting to work by bike (thanks to the bike rack PSC purchased last spring!).
To help sustain activities, senior- and junior-level staff members from each of the firm’s divisions were asked to volunteer on our wellness committee. Since 2009, the wellness committee has helped develop various activities each year, including the healthy habits game; encouraged staff to participate in activities; and provided worksite policy recommendations to the firm’s leadership to improve employee health. The wellness committee consistently strives to make activities fun and interesting, and to meet the needs of the firm’s employees.
Stay tuned in the coming months for details about our next healthy habits game when we will compete with two Lansing-based organizations.
If you would like to talk about how PSC can help you start a wellness initiative at your place of business, you can contact Jacquie LaFay at (517) 484-4954.