October 24, 2017    

Working on Wellness Newsletter

Implementing the Right Interventions for your Worksite Wellness Initiative
What is your worksite wellness initiative going to look like? What changes are you going
to make to you work environment to make the healthy choice the easy choice?  Rolling  out appropriate interventions to support your  wellness goals and objectives  is an  exciting and  key  step in improving the h ealth and well - being of your employees.  Interventions  are the actions that your organization will take t encourage healthy  lifestyles and  support positive behaviors.  For greatest impact, interventions should be  comprehensive in nature  and improve both organizational health  and safety  and  individual health  and safety Interventions should include  three areas:
  • Supportive Environment: Organizational policies, norms and physical factors that support a healthy and safe work culture and foster healthy choices.
  • Individual Behavior Change: Behavior change interventions focus on skill development and activities to enable employees to consider their health behaviors, address any barriers to change behaviors, and finally change behaviors to reduce health risk and vulnerability.
  • Education and Awareness: Health education and awareness interventions focus on topics related to employee needs and interests and provide information to employees to raise awareness of health and safety topics.
By changing workplace norms and implementing policies that support healthy behaviors, employers can reach more employees and make it easier for them to change their habits. This can be accomplished by taking into consideration the following tips. 
  1. Address top health issues and interests: For wellness initiatives to be effective in engaging workers, they need to reflect the interests of the workers themselves.
  2. Promote employee participation: Workers need to be involved in identifying and  prioritizing the health targets of the initiative, planning the way the health priorities will be addressed and carrying out the efforts to protect and promote employee safety and health.
  3. Actively communicate with employees: Utilize a wide range of marketing strategies to ensure that employees are aware of the programs and services available to them. This helps to build interest and support, and ultimately participation.
  4. Link wellness initiative to existing services: Create linkages between the wellness initiative, company benefits (e.g. health plan, EAP), and community resources.
Targeted interventions can impact the health of a workforce and ultimately the health of the entire of organization. When implemented thoughtfully, as a multi-faceted approach that changes behavior and focuses on health and productivity, employers-and employees-stand to gain the most! 

Looking for inspiration and best practices?  Learn about strategies to increase healthy food choices , improve sleep , increase physical activity , and minimize stress

The Healthy Workplaces Toolbox: Toolbox Highlight
To help you begin the process of assessing your organization's employees and environment, Working on Wellness  offers   a number of tools and resources available to you. 

The Clearinghouse provides free health promotion materials for Massachusetts residents, health care providers, and social service providers. 

The Working on Wellness Participant Intervention Database is a public resource that highlights interventions developed and implemented by current and past Working on Wellness participants. Interventions are categorized by the health topic they address and type of intervention.

Participant Highlight - MACIPA

Mount Auburn Cambr idge Independent P ra ctice Association, Inc. (MACIPA) is a physician membership organization with almost 500 physicians serving patients in Cambridge and the Greater Boston area.
As a member of Working on Wellness, MACIPA followed the steps of the Program Development Cycle  to build a tailored wellness initiative that responded to staff interests while benefiting the organization as a whole. Using the results of the Needs and Interests survey, MACIPA's wellness committee recognized physical activity as the employees' top wellness priority. Due to the nature of the office environment, employees at MACIPA spend most of the day sitting in front of their computers, even routinely eating lunch at their desks.
With the support of their President and COO, who is also their wellness sponsor, MACIPA rolled out a new worksite policy called "Sit for 60 Move for 3." This policy encourages employees to get up from their seat every 60 minutes and walk around, stand, or stretch for 3 minutes. In order to introduce the new policy, as well as ingrain it into the ethos of the workplace, the wellness committee developed a communication campaign aptly named "Get Up & Move." These communications included an initial policy introductory email that came straight from the wellness sponsor to demonstrate executive management, as well as promotional posters hung up around the office, monthly newsletters, and regular emails.
In addition to encouraging employees to take active breaks while working at their desks, the wellness committee also identified long meetings as another opportunity to promote the "Sit for 60 Move for 3" policy. For meetings that last more than 60 minutes, employees agreed to incorporate "Get Up & Move" reminders into meeting invites and agendas, and to designate a staff person to politely remind the meeting attendees after 60 minutes to feel welcome to stand or stretch quietly while the meeting continues.
Upon reflection, MACIPA's wellness champion, Samantha Joaquim-Eno, emphasizes to all workplaces to focus on staff needs, actively communicate wellness initiatives to address those needs and use a variety of vehicles to deliver the wellness message. In summation, "I am truly grateful that we were chosen to be a part of this innovative program and highly recommend it to all Massachusetts organizations!"

Working on Wellness Expert Series 
Free hour-long worksite wellness focused webinars 


Tuesday, October 24, 2017
11:00 am - 12:00 pm EST 
Led by: Tara Healey and Jonathan Roberts, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care

Thursday, November 2, 2017
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm EST 
Led By: Kathleen Greer, LMHC, and Alison Magee, LICSW, KGA, Inc.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017
11:00 am - 12:00 pm EST 
Led By: Jennifer Fraone, Boston College Center for Work & Family

Tuesday, November 28, 2017
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm EST
Led by: Barry Rock, Boston Medical Center HealthNet Plan, and Chris Salamanis, Beacon Communities

Wednesday, December 6, 2017
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm EST
Led by: Glorian Sorensen, PhD, MPH and Jack Dennerlein, PhD, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Center for Work, Health, & Well-being

The Health Champion designation recognizes companies and organizations that integrate and champion a culture of wellness within the  workplace. 

Stay Connected
Follow us on Twitter  Like us on Facebook  View our videos on YouTube