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Health district launches initiative to encourage workplace wellness

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Posted at 6:43 AM, Jun 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-05 07:48:29-04

WACO, TX — A new program is rewarding workplaces in McLennan County that promote wellness.

The Waco-McLennan County Public Health District and the Live Well Waco Coalition partnered to launch the healthy worksite recognition program this week.

"When you look at where adults are spending most of their time throughout their day, they are at work. It made sense to target people in their work environment since it's where they spend more of their time," Waco-McLennan County Public Health District Public Health Education Specialist Ashley Williams said.

This initiative will recognize local organization for their efforts to create a healthy workforce.

Any business in McLennan County can participate in the competition, regardless of its number of employees.

Officials will rank businesses participating in the Live Well Waco Healthy Worksite Recognition Program based on four criteria.

First, they will look if companies are promoting and education employees about healthy choices. Second, they will also review the policies workplaces have regarding offering healthy food. This could range between having healthy food available at work meetings or in their vending machines.

The third criteria will look at efforts to promote fitness, including encouraging employees to use the stairs instead of the elevator. Lastly, officials will evaluate smoking cessation programs at companies.

The City of Waco has implemented some of the healthy initiatives.

"We are seeing people that are quitting smoking. People who got healthier eating behavior and also got active, even if it's just walking a little bit more than they would normally walk throughout their day,"Williams said.

According to Williams, these healthy habits can help lower your risk for type two diabetes, heart attacks and strokes.

Companies interested in participating in the program would be asked to write a 350-word summary about their efforts.

The deadline to apply will be on Aug. 31. To apply, click here.

Williams said the health district anticipates releasing the recognition-level scores in the early fall.

The Waco city council will recognize the gold and platinum level businesses at a city council meeting.