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Wellness Plan: Risk and Strategies

Deborah Vanderwyk

Arizona State University

PPE 310: Healthy Learning Communities

Michelle Jung

October 26, 2017


Wellness Plan: Risk and Strategies

Name: Initial Post Y/N Responses to Others Y/N

Elizabeth Harney N N

Silvina Martin-Johnson Y Y

Sarah Nordan Y Y

Heather Saindon-Kaneen Y Y

Deborah Vanderwyk Y Y

Rachael Vernon Y N


This week our group discussed the topic Modeling Personal Wellness as it relates to

our current and future workplaces. Group members contributed to the discussion by sharing

stories about the impact their current workplaces have on their health. We kept in mind our

hypothetical business as we discussed risk factors, strategies, and planned a future business

proposal that encourages healthy practices inside the workplace.

Risk Factors

During the discussion, we identified some of the risk factors that hinder full

environmental health. Those risk factors include exposure to pollution, fast food, and lack of

outdoor places to walk or exercise -- Resulting issues that stem from these risk factors include

chronic illnesses and disabilities like obesity, smoking and stress which cause heart disease,

diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. Our team proposed that one of

the issues that keep people from obtaining optimal health is due to geography. It was discussed

that some of our group grew up in an active and safe neighborhood with access to hiking &

walking trails as well as local parks. However, one of our group members is current community

lacks sidewalks and accessibility to parks -- a result of not having access to these necessary

outdoor places are depression, obesity and the comorbid issues linked to both.


Many group members had a variety of ideas for health promotion in the workplace.

Suggestions included offering health risk assessments to employees to identify their health and

wellness strengths and opportunities within the workplace. A summary of the results, as

individual results are confidential, will help our company develop wellness programs tailored to

the needs of our employees. Another opportunity is to start a step-counter competition in

workplaces that sit a lot during the day. Extending the lunch time from 30 minutes to 45 minutes

can also give our employees the opportunity to engage in this fun and healthy activity. Paycheck

stuffers, such as health and wellness newsletters, and emails including links to healthy lifestyle

choices can also be provided to our employees. Another proposal was involving the employees

in monthly or quarterly advocacy walks that would encourage exercise, team building and

connection. In addition to the benefits of community building and exercise, they have the chance

to make a difference by raising funds for charities such as the Humane Society, Breast Cancer

Research, Hurricane or Wildfire Relief and other charities that the staff can vote on to benefit

from their efforts. Sarah also proposed installing filtered water dispensers in the business and

encouraging workers to drink more water by handing out reusable water bottles and hanging up

posters with water challenges to encourage healthy competition. Finally, as group exercise

reduces stress, builds community as well as improves physical and mental health, we propose a

partnership with the local Parks and Recreation Department or YMCA to provide classes onsite

such as Zumba, Yoga Pilates and even Turbo Kickboxing for those who desire a more strenuous


Workplace Experience

As many of the peers in our group are Starbucks employees, we discussed the lack of a

health and wellness support that could easily be acquired by the company and theoretically

reduce obesity issues, and increase production in the workplace. While Starbucks does encourage

their employees to be tobacco-free by enforcing non-smoking rules in and around each store,

they do not openly announce that they offer support to those employees who wish to quit. Stress

was also discussed as a common issue as it relates to the workplaces impact on health. Many

group members discussed feeling overworked, tired, and stressed. The stress of the job does not

help when trying to promote health in the workplace.

One of our other peers discussed how advanced her work environment is in promoting

health and wellness. She discussed how she is able to take breaks as needed and there is a trail

around the building that allows for the employees to get fresh air and rejuvenate. The company

also offers free gym classes in the building, as well as access to multiple dog parks nearby. One

of the best perks of her company and is that the people of her business can bring their pets to

work. It has been proven that animals reduce stress in the workplace.

Additional resources were also provided to further discussion within the group. Video

and audio was shared which discussed health in the workplace. One example Extraordinary

Workplace Wellness Programs (2016) gave group members a look at some of the strategies and

programs being implemented in workplaces today. Examples of nutrition, fitness, and coaching

programs can be seen throughout the video, and it is suggested that individuals consume less

than 10 percent of calories per day from added sugars, and saturated fats, as well as consume less

than 2,300 milligrams per day of sodium. A healthy workplace culture can impact productivity

and inspire workers to lead healthy lives.



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