Contact HEAL

WorkWell

WorkWell models healthy eating & active living in the workplace

[The success of this project is evident in the final report, available in PDF format (32 k). The new workplace policy assures the impact will be long-term.]

"We can't support the advice we give unless staff can be models," says Nancy Gale, Executive Director of the Williams Lake Child Development Centre. Gale is referring to WorkWell, one of two projects to receive a grant of $12,500 from HEAL.

Five non-profit social service agencies in Williams Lake will promote healthy eating and active living policies, supports and programs in the workplaces of all five agencies.

All are part of the Central Cariboo Community Opportunities Coalition, formed in early 2002 "to become leaders in human services, best practices and successful client outcomes."

The project is led by the Women's Contact Society and includes the Child Development Centre, the Boys and Girls Club (NOOPA Youth Centre), Canadian Mental Health Association, and the Association for Community Living.

Anne Burrill, Executive Director of the Women's Contact Society, explains the vision behind WorkWell: "Collectively we employ 157 full and part-time employees who have diverse lifestyles and health needs. We believe our staff deserve a healthy workplace. This project will support them in improving their individual health and encourage healthy practices with their clients."

The CDC's Nancy Gale adds, "Healthy eating and active living need to permeate through systems and organizations. "This is the most cost-effective prevention tool we have available to us. As trusted advisors, we have to be models."

HEAL sees WorkWell as an important step toward federal, provincial and regional health goals of putting healthy eating and active living at the centre of health promotion and disease prevention. Information about this and other HEAL initiatives can be found on the HEAL Web site.

For information contact Anne Burrill, Executive Director, Women's Contact Society.
For other workplace wellness policies and programs, see below.


Did the program work? Here are some responses from participants' evaluations:

"I would like to thank the coalition, the coordinator and the Work Well committee for the HEAL project. It has had a huge impact on my life."

"After attending the workshops I asked our core members [of a teen group] if we could start providing healthy choices now, water, vegetables, dips and popcorn. We still have junk food occasionally but we have become much more conscientious and provide healthy choice on those nights as well."

Health and Wellness Policy

POLICY

The Women's Contact Society supports the health of employees by encouraging employees to maintain a healthy lifestyle through healthy food choices, participation in physical activities and reduction of stress. Research indicates that healthy eating and active living can help improve the quality of your personal and work life and reduce your risk for heart disease, diabetes and other health problems. The benefits of a healthy employee are increased productivity, decreased absenteeism and a more positive work environment. Healthy employees are role models for their co-workers, clients and the community in making healthy eating and active living choices.

CONDITIONS

  1. The Women's Contact Society will support employees in making informed choices and taking responsibility for their health through the following commitments:
    • Whenever possible, Healthy food and beverage choices (based on the Canada Food Guide to Healthy Eating) shall be provided at all agency sponsored meetings or events.
    • Buying locally grown food whenever possible to support a sustainable food supply.
    • Requiring staff to practice safe food handling practices.
    • Whenever possible, negotiating flexibility in work hours to support physical activity practices of employees.
    • Encouraging employees to participate in community sponsored events that promote healthy eating and active living.
    • Supporting a recognition or incentive based program for employee participation in physical activities. (Optional: outline incentive program or attach)
  2. Full time personnel may choose to take training, courses or skill development at their own time and expense. For every 8 hours of personal development that relates to their personal health, full time employees will be given half a day of paid leave (equal to 3.75 hours), to a maximum of 1 days (7.5 hours ) per year. Part-time employees are entitled to a pro-rated equivalent based on an average day of work (total hours per week divided by 5 days). Course content must be approved by the Executive Director prior to beginning the development and written confirmation of participation in this development is to be provided to the Executive Director after the training.

 

Workplace wellness programs and policies