Award encourages workplaces to ‘Lighten Up’

//June 11, 2009

Award encourages workplaces to ‘Lighten Up’

//June 11, 2009

More than 60 percent of Lancaster County
adults are either obese or overweight, according to the Lighten Up Lancaster
. So the group is encouraging folks to work on it – literally.

The coalition recently unveiled its Lighten Up Lancaster
Workplace Award, designed to recognize employers who promote wellness in the

The mission of the 250-member coalition, which includes
local schools, physician practices, community members and Lancaster General
(LGH), is to increase the amount of county residents maintaining a
healthy weight.

Criteria for the award include implementation of at least
two weight-management interventions, such as a walking club; a workplace
wellness committee or representative, a letter of support from senior
management; and achievement of at least 10 of the 20 items the coalition
recommends to create a healthy environment.

The coalition has posted a free toolkit on its Web site to
help businesses work toward the award.

All workplaces that meet the criteria will be recognized for
their efforts and receive a door decal, said Catherine Newkirk, a wellness
educator with LGH. One business that develops particularly innovative
ways to encourage wellness will receive a plaque or trophy, she said.

The deadline to apply is Nov. 13, and applications are
available on the coalition’s Web site.

“It’s a great opportunity for businesses to receive
recognition of the good things they’re doing for their employees and to help
them think about what else they could be doing,” Newkirk said.