We had a blast kicking off the Year of Worksite Wellness here in Minnesota. Today’s events at the Capitol included an official proclamation, words from legislators, health advice from sponsors, and more. Thanks to all who helped make this happen. Let’s be our healthiest this year, Minnesota!
Employees of Ramsey-area Connexus Energy earn first place in Exercise Minutes category of BizicallyFIT™ 2012 Health Challenge
With support from their company’s top leadership, a team of coworkers from Ramsey-based Connexus Energy – the “Biggest Winners” — took the top spot in exercise minutes, in the just-concluded BizicallyFIT™ 2012 Health Challenge, sponsored by the Alliance for a Healthier Minnesota. The team beat our more than 1,600 teams and more than 10,000 participants throughout the state.
Eighty-seven of the energy cooperative’s 210 employees joined the statewide health challenge, many of them for the second year in a row following last year’s Biggest Loser Minnesota Challenge. Together, the Connexus Energy teams exercised 293,679 minutes and walked 46,205,318 steps over the course of the 12-week Challenge, an average of 40 minutes and 7,535 steps per person per day.
BizicallyFIT™ 2012 Health Challenge: Two Hennepin County Employee Teams Win Competition’s Exercise and Weight Loss Categories
In Minneapolis, Hennepin County Government employees win two out of three competition categories.
When the BizicallyFIT™ 2012 Health Challenge kicked off this past February, Hennepin County employees were ready. A total of 1,086 individuals competed in the Challenge on Hennepin County Government teams. By the time it ended on May 6, they had exercised 1,764,465 minutes and walked 248,050,732 steps – enough to walk around the earth’s equator 3.78 times.
Two teams from Hennepin County Government earned a first place ranking in the Exercise and Weight Loss divisions, surpassing 10,000 other participants on more than 1,600 other teams. The “Henn Fair” team placed first in Weight Loss with an average of 9.3 percent weight loss over the course of the competition—a percentage that would bring a 215-pound person down to 195. Hennepin County’s “Skywalkers” ranked first in Exercise with a team average of 88 minutes of exercise per day. The Skywalkers team’s three women and three men walked, biked, ran, gardened and broke a sweat on the local softball field as much as they could. While family events and travel posed challenges for some at times, the team continued to fit in exercise wherever and whenever it could.
BizicallyFIT™ 2012 Health Challenge: Northern Minnesota Furnace Manufacturer wins in Pedometer Steps
Employees teamed up to compete in statewide BizicallyFIT™ 2012 Health Challenge with support from Central Boiler’s workplace wellness program.
The recent BizicallyFIT™ 2012 Health Challenge lit a fire under Alietia Nygaard and her colleagues at Central Boiler in Greenbush, Minnesota. Nygaard’s 11-member team, called “Alietia’s Dream Team,” won first place in the Pedometer Steps division of the 2012 Health Challenge with a team average of 17,030 steps per day over the 12-week competition, beating 10,000 other participants on more than 1,600 other teams.
Nygaard and her team were among 88 individuals who joined the Challenge with coworkers from Central Boiler, an outdoor wood furnace manufacturer with more than 200 employees in Greenbush, Minnesota. To encourage 2012 Health Challenge participants, Central Boiler’s growing workplace wellness program spread the word and offered an intra-company leaderboard for participating teams. Each week, Central Boiler’s teams received an email that ranked each team from first to last in each category.
Hennepin County, Connexus Energy and Central Boiler win first place in competition’s Weight Loss, Steps and Exercise categories
Minnesota employers and community organizations geared up for summer with the BizicallyFIT 2012 Health Challenge and earned incredible healthy lifestyle results. Ten thousand Minnesotans from every corner of the state joined together with coworkers, friends and family to take extra steps, exercise more and drop some extra pounds, competing for online rankings and bragging rights. Together they lost 20,409 pounds, walked 1,610,427,079 steps and exercised 13,176,822 minutes. One lucky participant won the grand prize drawing, a free one-week stay at a Biggest Loser Resort.
“We’re very happy about the successes of Minnesotans who took time to engage in the BizicallyFIT 2012 Health Challenge,” says Tom Mason, president of the Alliance for a Healthier Minnesota. “It’s amazing how effective friendly competition and support from employers, coworkers, friends and family can in motivating people to adopt and maintain healthier habits.”
Target is among the first companies to achieve accreditation in US Healthiest’s HealthLead™ program, an emerging standard in workplace health promotion.
The search for a definitive actuarial link between worksite wellness programs and reduced insurance risk may well emerge from HealthLead™, a rigorous new wellness accreditation program that last year was alpha-tested by Target.
A panel of national wellness experts convened on April 30 in an auditorium at Target’s national headquarters in Minneapolis to discuss the program for an audience of more than 200 leaders in business, public health and academia.
The event was hosted by the Alliance for a Healthier Minnesota and moderated by Senator Amy Klobuchar, co-chair of the Congressional Wellness Caucus. Panelists included Nick Baird, M.D., CEO of US Healthiest; Jodee Kozlak, Target’s VP of Human Resources; and Jim Harter, Ph.D, chief scientist of Workplace Management and Well-being for Gallup’s workplace management practice.
If your job requires hours of sitting at a desk, take note: there is mounting evidence that links long periods of sitting with an increased risk of heart disease. The longer you sit, the greater your risk.
Fortunately, you can reduce that risk greatly by consciously standing and moving multiple times per day — ideally for at least a few minutes every hour. In a St. Louis University Medical Center press release, Occupational Therapist Julia Henderson-Kalb states that those few minutes of exercise will not only help your body, but it will also keep your mind and memory sharp, which can improve your productivity on the job.
To discover Henderson-Kalb’s eight tips for moving more at work, read this article from Everyday Health.
The Dakota County Regional Chamber of Commerce is among the first in the state to offer the BizicallyFIT™ portal, a robust new program that will offer area businesses the information and tools they need to seize the benefits of workplace wellness. Seventy-five percent of employers’ health care costs are related to employee lifestyle choices and forward-thinking employers of all sizes are taking steps to help employees embrace healthier lifestyles. The BizicallyFIT™ portal is powered by the Alliance for a Healthier Minnesota and accessible to chamber members directly through the Dakota County Regional Chamber of Commerce website.
“Over the past several years, health care costs have been a serious issue for our members. We are excited to offer them tools and information they need to encourage and support employee health, regardless of their size, time or budget constraints,” said Ruthe Batulis, President, Dakota County Regional Chamber of Commerce. “The BizicallyFIT portal is creating a community of employers throughout Minnesota to share information, best practices and tools. The Dakota County Regional Chamber is proud to lead the way as an early-adopter of BizicallyFIT.”