Free Wellness Program: Move For Life

Free Wellness Program: Move For Life

Physical Activity in the Workplace

What’s the bottom line to a healthier lifestyle?

The major causes of premature death and disability among workers are heart disease, cancer, strokes and injuries. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that physical inactivity contributes to up to 23 percent of all deaths from major chronic diseases. Few Americans engage in the regular and sustained physical activity that is needed to reduce the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and other health problems which lead to premature death or disability.

When employees choose a sedentary lifestyle, they affect their company’s bottom line. The costs of sedentary lifestyles include higher health care costs, more absenteeism and less productivity. Another recent CDC study found that people who are inactive incurred annual direct medical costs that are $330 more than the costs for those who are physically active.

The New York State Health Department’s MOVE FOR LIFE! program recognizes that employee well-being is a must for good business. With just 30 minutes of moderate activity on five or more days a week, individuals can begin to enjoy the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. People don’t have to jog or go to a gym to be more active. Simple, everyday activities such as walking, doing yard work and climbing the stairs contribute to a physically active lifestyle. Move for Life! is for everyone. Simple modifications to the program will enable employees with physical disabilities to fully participate in Move for Life!

How MOVE FOR LIFE! can help

MOVE FOR LIFE! is invaluable to anyone who is responsible for employee health programs; anyone who wants to persuade his or her employer or union that promotion of healthy lifestyles is worthwhile; and anyone who wants to improve or enhance an existing employee wellness program. Move for Life! is an 8- to 10-week program designed to help employees of all physical abilities, regardless of age, current fitness level or activity level. One of the keys of Move for Life! is its flexibility. It can be made longer or shorter and scheduled to fit the company’s schedule. Move for Life! recognizes that all employees are not at the same level of fitness, nor do they have the same interest in being active. Move for Life! allows participants to set their own personal goals, ranging from moderate activities, like walking or doing yard work, to more intense ones, like running and swimming. Then they record their daily activities and begin tracking their progress. Everyone can be successful with MOVE FOR LIFE!

Wellness Program Benefits to the company

With the MOVE FOR LIFE! employee wellness program, you will contribute to the overall health and well-being of your employees, their families and the community, and better contain your company’s health care costs, while protecting your greatest asset ­ your employees. In recent years, much research has been conducted to assess the promotion of healthy lifestyles in the workplace and its benefits to the company. The benefits reported in these studies include:

  • Reduced health care costs
  • Reduced illness and injuries
  • Reduced absenteeism
  • Enhanced recruitment and retention of healthy employees
  • Improved employee relations and morale

Wellness Program Benefits to employees

In 1996, the U.S. Surgeon General’s Report on Physical Activity and Health stated that a sedentary lifestyle is a dangerous risk factor for disease. The good news is that even moderate levels of physical activity for people of all physical abilities will significantly reduce the risk of such chronic health problems as heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers.

Among other benefits to individuals are:

  • Weight reduction
  • Reduced tension and feelings of stress
  • Improved well-being
  • Enhanced self-image and self-esteem
  • Improved physical function

What you can do

MOVE FOR LIFE! is free and available online!

  • Register your program
  • Report your success Online
  • Organizations, worksites, schools and individuals have easy access to all the tools needed for a successful program.
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