GHS earns top award for fit-friendly worksite

  • Wednesday, August 27, 2014

For the fourth consecutive year, Georgetown Hospital System has been recognized as a Platinum-Level Fit-Friendly Worksite by the American Heart Association for helping employee partners eat better and move more.

Platinum-level employers:

Offer employee partners physical activity options in the workplace

Increase healthy eating options at the worksite

Promote a wellness culture in the workplace

Implement at least nine criteria outlined by the American Heart Association in the areas of physical activity, nutrition and culture

To enhance the health and wellness of its work force, Georgetown Hospital System identified “major diagnostic conditions and disease states that most impact employee partners and family members and developed a program to encourage employee partners to improve their health through exercise, better nutrition and quitting smoking.

The initiative has resulted in healthier employee partners and reduced health care costs for both GHS and employee partners.

In addition, the cafeterias at Georgetown Memorial Hospital and Waccamaw Community Hospital offer an array of healthy foods daily and post the nutritional content of items served.

Both hospitals have walking trails and offer onsite yoga classes, and all employee partners are encouraged to participate in quarterly wellness challenges that emphasize nutrition and physical activity.

Employee partners also have access to weekly and monthly webinars on topics related to physical, mental and emotional health.

According to the American Heart Association, U.S. employers are losing an estimated $225.8 billion a year because of health care expenses and health-related losses in productivity, and those numbers are rising. Many American adults spend most of their waking hours at sedentary jobs.

A lack of regular physical activity raises Americans’ risk for a host of medical problems such as obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes.

Employers face $12.7 billion in annual medical expenses due to obesity alone. The American Heart Association is working to change corporate cultures by motivating employees to start walking, which has the lowest dropout rate of any physical activity.

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