The American Heart Association recognizes Fit-Friendly Worksites

Central Louisiana worksites take steps to decrease healthcare expenses, increase productivity

Alexandria, LA – The American Heart Association would like to recognize the following companies in Central Louisiana for achieving Fit-Friendly status. Designed to be a catalyst for positive change in American business, the Fit-Friendly Worksite Recognition Program recognizes employers who champion the health of their employees by creating physical activity programs within the workplace. The 2015 Fit-Friendly worksites in CENLA currently are:

Platinum Award Status:

Roy O Martin

Gilchrist Construction

Gold Award Status:

Rapides Regional Medical Center

In addition to the Platinum Fit-Friendly Worksite recognition, Gilchrist Construction has earned the Worksite Innovation Award. This award is given to worksites that creatively implement programs to promote physical activity in the workplace.

Worksites may earn Fit-Friendly recognition by implementing physical activity practices such as providing walking routes, promoting walking programs, online newsletters, and tracking tools to motivate employees, and allowing staff to wear athletic shoes in the workplace on designated “sneaker days”. Studies suggest that implementing a worksite physical activity program and promoting a culture of activity will help companies increase productivity, reduce absenteeism, lower turnover and reduce healthcare costs. Currently, American employers face increasing healthcare expenses and health-related losses in productivity that cost an estimated $225.8 billion a year. Many American adults spend most of their waking hours at sedentary jobs. Their lack of physical activity raises their risk for a host of medical problems, such as obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes. Employers face $12.7 billion in annual medical expenses due to obesity alone. The Fit-Friendly Worksite Recognition Program helps change corporate cultures by motivating employees to start walking, which has the lowest dropout rate of any physical activity.

Recognition is a critical component of the Fit-Friendly Worksite Program. Employers that join this program qualify for official recognition by the American Heart Association. They are listed on the program’s national website as well as other materials. Qualifying companies also have the right to use the program’s annual recognition seal for internal communications and with external, recruitment-related communications.

Participating worksites also get free access to program resources such as the free walking program, materials to help promote company wellness programs to employees, internal newsletter templates and consultation on CPR/AED (automated external defibrillator) programs.

The American Heart Association also offers an online resource at www.startwalkingnow.org, a free web-based fitness and nutrition tracker for companies and individuals. A “dashboard” feature lets human resource or wellness managers view employee participation.

The Fit-Friendly Worksite Program is helping to improve the health of Americans by focusing on an activity that is convenient, free and easy. For more information visit heart.org or contact Julie Salisbury at 225.802.3002.

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