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Workplace Wellness
Spotlights of the Month
Tools & Resources
Funding Opportunities
About Us
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Workplace Wellness that Works!  
How long have you been sitting at your desk today? When was the last time you had a glass of water? With busy schedules and back-to-back meetings, we know that taking the time to go for a walk, drink water, or eat a healthy meal can be hard to remember. We all want to take time out of our day to take care of our health, but sometimes the day can get ahead of us and, instead of eating that salad we didn't have time to make the night before, we're filling up on leftover birthday cake from the office break room.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has conducted numerous studies that document the unhealthy habits we're developing in the workplace. From sitting for too many hours to eating unhealthy, calorically dense foods , our workplaces can often make it harder, not easier, to accomplish our health goals. With an uptick in workplace wellness research and media attention, the workplace wellness industry is booming as companies pour funding into programs and fitness incentive packages that claim to lower your companies costs and increase the productivity of your workers.  While these programs may seem like an easy fix, the evidence isn't quite there. Last year, a team from the National Bureau of Economic Research published research on an employee wellness program  at the University of Illinois  at Urbana-Champaign. The workplace wellness program, which included biometric screenings, health risk assessments, and wellness activities like fitness classes, showed little to no results in employee health outcomes.

So, are all employee wellness programs a waste of time? It's clear that our office environments are leading to problematic and unhealthy behaviors, but what can be done to influence our own health and the health of our employees?  While pouring money into incentive programs or one-time health  screenings may be ineffective , it's vastly apparent that healthy culture change can lead to positive health outcomes. A Dutch research team demonstrated this impact through a study on an employee wellness program that showed more effective results through  employer workplace wellness strategies that promote healthier environments and culture  change.

While high budget wellness programs may seem like a quick path to employee health, environmental changes will ultimately produce longer-term rewards and more sustainable health outcomes. For more ideas on how your office can build a culture of health, check out the HEAL Campaign's Workplace Wellness Resources
Spotlight of the Month | New Carrollton, Maryland
Check out what the City of New Carrollton has been working on to promote a culture of workplace wellness.This City is prioritizing employee health by creating a Healthy Entertaining Nutritional Standards Guide for workplace events and providing healthier vending options. Read more about how this HEAL City was awarded a 2015 HEAL Mini-Grant to support these efforts. Read the article here.

Interested in having your city or town featured in an upcoming Spotlight article? Please send a request to HEAL Campaign Manager Sydney Daigle at Sdaigle@institutephi.org .
Tools and Resources
Webinar | A Blueprint for Changemakers: Achieving Health Equity Through Law & Policy -   This webinar from ChangeLab Solutions will explore their new resource guide A Blueprint for Changemakers: Achieving Health Equity Through Law & PolicyThis new resource presents legal strategies and best practices to help policymakers, practitioners, and communities improve health outcomes. It provides a roadmap for working locally and collaboratively to advance laws and policies that will help ensure that everyone has a fair chance to live a healthy life. The webinar will be held on April, 02 from 2-3 PM EST. Register here
Resource | Food Policy Council Report 2018   What is a food policy council? How can they help support healthy and sustainable food access in your region? Check out this report that summarizes results from an annual survey from the Center for a Livable Future. The questions identify how local food policy councils are advocating for policy change, how they engage community members, and what factors influence their policy priorities. Read the report here
Webinar | What's Next for the Walking Movement? -  This webinar from America Walks will explore changes to transportation, mobility and planning. Attendees will hear from walking advocate and learn about policies and programs that support mobility improvements. The webinar will be held on April 10th from 2-3 PM EST. Register here.  
Funding Opportunities 
AARP Community Challenge -   The AARP is accepting applications for quick-action projects that can help your community become more livable. Applications are now being accepted for small grants to improve housing, transportation, public space, smart cities, and other community elements. The grant program is open to nonprofits, government entities, and other types of organizations on a case-by-case basis.  Applications are due by April 17, 2019, 11:59 pm (ET).  All projects must be completed by November 4, 2019. Find more information here.
About Us
HEAL is a project of the Institute for Public Health Innovation in  partnership with the Maryland and Virginia Municipal Leagues and funded by Kaiser Permanente, founding partner.

For more information on the HEAL Cities & Towns Campaign, p lease visit the website at www.healcitiesmidatlantic.org or contact HEAL Campaign Manager Sydney Daigle at Sdaigle@institutephi.org .
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