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National Employee Health & Fitness Day Encourages Employers to Invest in a Healthy and Productive Workforce

Wednesday, May 18, 2011 General News J E 4
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ROCKVILLE, Md., May 17, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States is encouraging employers and employees alike to adopt healthy habits in the workplace on National Employee Health & Fitness Day, May 18.  Healthy employees are more productive and improve healthcare costs expenses of employers.  National Employee Health & Fitness Day was created to promote the benefits of a healthy lifestyle to employers and their employees through worksite health and wellness promotion and initiatives.

"Though May 18 is National Employee Health & Fitness Day, anytime is the right time for making healthy changes or getting employees inspired to stay on track," said Keith Murvin, director, compensation and total performance, Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States.  "Employers can make simple, cost-effective, and efficient adjustments to help their employees reach their health goals and create a more health-conscious and effective workplace environment."  Murvin, a co-chair of Kaiser Permanente's healthy workforce committee, implements healthy initiatives throughout the organization's mid-Atlantic region.

It's no secret that businesses lose money whenever employees miss work due to health problems.  The goal of National Employee Health & Fitness Day is to support and inspire employees to be their best in mind, body, and spirit and is focused on improving the health and well-being of employees.  National Employee Health & Fitness Day is a perfect occasion to kick off a wellness or fitness program in the workplace and bring excitement to the workforce.

In the United States, employees spend an average of 5.5 hours per week in meetings.  Most often, meetings are characterized by unhealthy food, physical inactivity and inefficiency that can add additional stress to employees.  Offer fresh healthy food choices during meetings.  Also allow for a stretch or walking break for meetings lasting more than an hour.  Hold shorter meetings as standing meetings. Standing burns 30-40% more calories than sitting for the same amount of time.

Workplace wellness programs have been shown to benefit the employers through enhanced employee productivity, improved health care costs, reduced employee absenteeism, and decreased rates of illness and injuries. These programs benefit employees by lowering stress levels, improving overall well-being, self-image, and self-esteem, improving physical fitness, increasing stamina, increasing workplace satisfaction, and potentially reducing weight.

More Tips to a Healthy, Active, and Overall More Productive Workforce

  • Encourage employees to eat right and get physically active as a means to lower stress.
  • Promote lunchtime walks.
  • Create a company sports team to get the workforce active.
  • Reward employees for participating in workplace wellness programs.

For more tips on fitting physical activity in the workplace, visit http://bit.ly/j1EYM3.

For more tips on eating well at work, visit http://bit.ly/jw1icw.

About Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States

Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States region, headquartered in Rockville, Maryland, provides and coordinates complete health care services for almost 500,000 members through 30 medical centers in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.  Founded in 1980, Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States is a total health organization comprised of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic States, Inc., and the Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group, P.C., an independent medical group that features approximately 900 physicians who provide or arrange care for patients throughout the area.  Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States is considered one of Maryland's "Top HMOs," according to the Maryland Health Care Commission.  The health plan was ranked in the nation's 100 top commercial health plans and 20 top Medicare health plans – and the #1 Medicare plan for Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. – by "NCQA Health Insurance Plan Rankings 2010-2011 Private."  For more information about Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States, visit www.kp.org.

SOURCE Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States

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