Integrating More Physical Activity in the Workforce In 2008 the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services released the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, a comprehensive resource that provides guidance on the importance of being physically active. Relevant to policy makers, physical educators, health professionals, and the public, the Physical Activity Guidelines present information about the value of physical activity and the health benefits that can be gained through regular physical activity. The Physical Activity Guidelines call for action to help Americans become more physically active.
Businesses and workplaces can play a significant role in helping to make these changes possible. By taking small steps to create a working environment where health and wellness are valued, you can assist in creating a healthier workforce in your company and in America. With the workplace being where most Americans spend a large percentage of their day, this is logical place to find new and groundbreaking ways to inspire and encourage physical activity. It also makes good business sense for the bottom line. Building a culture of wellness that promotes physical activity starts with a vision and requires a plan.
Most Chief Executive Officer (CEO) visions is for a healthy workforce for production and stakeholder. According to the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, increasing physical activity lowers the risk of many adverse health consequences, including heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and colon and breast cancers. It can also help prevent weight gain, improve cardiovascular and muscular fitness and strength, prevent falls, improve bone strength, and reduce symptoms of depression.
Businesses have gone to a smoke free workplace, in order to reate a culture of inclusion as part of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. However, incorporating healthy activities into the workforce is a life style change not just a policy. The leadership have to get the buy in from the workforce. Building Support – This step may be necessary if the company, particularly management, has not considered starting a wellness program. Creating the business case for a culture of wellness that standards physical activity among its employees is a critical first step, but building support is something that needs to be upheld and it is a constant process.
Forecasting and Assessing – This step describes how to develop a Wellness Committee and the importance of creating and following time lines. It also describes several types of assessments to consider when creating or enhancing your programs. Promoting – This step describes ways to market the programs and activities to employees and discusses different incentives and rewards to consider when encouraging employee participation. Implementing – This step describes four different tracks a company can follow to implement a physical activity program in the workplace.
An informal quiz found in the Tools and Templates section can help determine which track may be most relevant for your company. Evaluating – This step provides examples of different types of evaluations and discussions about why evaluating programs is important. Sharing Results – This step provides ideas on how to share your program successes with others—both internal and external to your company. Sustaining – This step provides information on maintaining buy-in, locating additional sources of funds, and leveraging state and national programs.
Today’s children are also spending record amounts of time sitting or sedentary, particularly related to school activities (Sturm, 2005). Although at least 60 min per day of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) is recommended, few children are achieving this recommendation (Nader et al. , 2008). This fact is demonstrated by the 2009 Youth Risk Behavior Survey data, which indicate that only 18. 4% of 9th to 12th graders were physically active for at least 60 min per day on all 7 days of the prior week (CDC, 2010a). Butte et al. 2007) notes that this decreased physical activity (PA) may play an important role in the increase in childhood obesity as a sedentary lifestyle upsets the energy balance—the balance between calories eaten and calories expended—that substantially determines body weight. Those households with youth in them, can become a change agent for better health. How? There is no one right answer or one fit all solution to the health issue. I choose to take a quick look at today’s youth in respect to their daily physical activities in order to see how long term trends.
By looking into today’s youth life style, it normally reflects what kind of life style as an adult they will have and the health issues that may accrue in adult hood. By introducing and or establishing physical activities in school, it will at lease set a foundation that can be transfer to the workforce. From a military prospective, this philosophy is introduced to incoming members of the team. Military leaders have always acknowledged that the efficiency of Soldiers depends mainly on their physical condition. Full spectrum operations place an exceptional on the Soldier’s strength, endurance, swiftness, resiliency, and management.
Triumph, and even the Soldier’s life, so often determined by these factors. To march long distances in fighting load through rugged country and to fight effectively upon arriving at the area of combat; to drive fast-moving tanks and motor vehicles over rough terrain; to assault; to run and crawl for long distances; to jump in and out of craters and trenches; and to jump over obstacles; to lift and carry heavy objects; to keep going for many hours without sleep or rest-all these activities of warfare and many others require superb physical conditioning.
So when one joins the military, it is expected that physical training will become part of everyday life. The military has taking the position and passion, that it has built time within the work day for physical fitness training. Not only are you expected to do physical training daily buy you are also tested twice a year on your physical level. If you are not up to standards, more training will be in your near future. It is a known fact that when the body is under stress, your physical being will help you to deal with the stress, which leads me into my point. How the body deals with stress from the workplace and its health implication?
When stress starts snooping with your capability to live a normal life for a long period, it becomes even more treacherous. The longer you aloud the stress lasts, the worse it is for both vour mind and body. You may feel exhausted, unable to focus or cantankerous for no good reason, for example. But enduring stress causes wear and tear on your body, too. Stress can make current problems worse. In one study, for example, about half the participants saw improvements in chronic headaches after learning how to stop the stress-producing habit of “catastrophizing,” or constantly thinking negative thoughts about their pain (Thorn, B. E. , Pence, L. B. , et al. (2007).
Chronic stress may also cause disease, either because of changes in your body or the overeating, smoking and other bad habits people use to cope with stress. Job strain — high demands coupled with low decision-making latitude — is associated with increased risk of coronary disease, for example. Other forms of chronic stress, such as depression and low levels of social support, have also been implicated in increased cardiovascular risk (Krantz, D. S. & McCeney, M. K. (2002). And once you’re sick, stress can also make it harder to recover.
One analysis of past studies, for instance, suggests that cardiac patients with so-called “Type D” personalities — characterized by chronic distress — face higher risks of bad outcomes. And when you are sick, you are unable to work. So, when you are not at work, productions slow down and the company lose profit margins. A panel of scientists convened by the American College of Sports Medicine and CDC developed a consensus statement recommending that every adult in the United States accumulate 30 minutes or more of moderateintensity physical activity on most, preferably all, days of the eek. (Pate RR, Pratt M, Blair SN1995) This recommendation was modified to emphasize that physical activity does not need to be continuous or strenuous to produce health benefits. (U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1997) The Surgeon General’s Report and the National Institutes of Health Consensus Statement support this recommendation.
Economic evaluations. The available economic data were limited. Therefore, considerable research is warranted on the following questions: •What is the cost-effectiveness of each of these interventions? How can effectiveness in terms of health outcomes or quality-adjusted health outcomes be better measured, estimated, or modeled? •How can the cost benefit of these programs be estimated? • How do specific characteristics of each of these approaches contribute to economic efficiency? The effectiveness of the powerfully recommended interference in this section (i. e. , integrating more workplace creation of or improved access to places for physical activity) is established. However, research issues about the effectiveness of these interferences remain.