By: Erin Lammers, Benefits Support Coordinator-City of Meridian
Three years ago the City of Meridian along with St. Luke’s Health Solutions introduced a Wellness program to all city employees to provide education, opportunities, and fun activities for all City employees to become more aware of their health and how the choices they make can positively affect their health. Since 2009 the Wellness program has flourished, inspiring change in many of our city’s employees.
The City of Meridian knows the importance of a healthy workforce and how it can help to reduce the cost of health care. According to HR Magazine Wellness programs after 3 to 5 years on average can expect to save between $1.50 and $3.00 for every dollar invested into wellness; which comes as a great value to the City in economically tough times.
The Wellness program offers employees many opportunities to learn how to make healthier eating choices with weekly/monthly tips and healthy recipes; achieve fitness goals; participate in community events; compete in health challenges/competitions; and encourages employees to try new activities like yoga and kettle bells. In a recent challenge employees were encouraged to do push ups to exhaustion. The challenge was an eye opener for many after experiencing soreness; commenting that this is something they should do everyday.
To date, the program has a total of 125 members who actively participate and are willing to make positive changes to improve their overall wellness. The current challenge is Survivor, a 10-week weight loss and maintenance program which has 20 tribes and 91 tribe members all competing in weekly health and fitness challenges; to date tribal leaders have reported a total of 180 pounds lost during the first three weeks. The City of Meridian is committed to supporting our employees as they achieve their health and wellness goals.