'Step Up to the Plate' Promoting Healthy Choices

By: Erin Myers Email
By: Erin Myers Email

The 'Step Up to the Plate' initiative is sponsored by the Central District Health Department and is meant to improve employee health. Recently, local businesses and organizations are getting on board.
Their aim is to encourage companies and organizations put policies in place that will benefit employees in Hall, Hamilton, and Merrick counties.

Amy Wieczorek is a health educator for Central District Health Department in Hall County.

"The biggest and most important thing about step up to the plate is making sure healthy choices are available," said Wieczoerk.

Wieczorek says company policies are effective when it comes to employee health because they can be low cost, highly visible, and influence *everyone* in the work place, not just single out a certain group.

"The policy is just an across the board rule that people will follow. So it's not picking on the people who are smoking or the people who are overweight or anything. It's just across the board."

Hall County UNL Extension recently implemented their own policies and created a wellness committee. UNL Extension educator, Cami Wells, says when it comes to health care, it's all about the bottom line. She says taking care of employees and investing in their health helps cut down costs in the long run.

"We certainly know that healthcare costs are just going up and up and up... And getting employees on board with being healthy is huge. So that aspect, the financial aspect of that is huge," said Wells.

Wieczorek agrees that promoting healthy choices is an investment in the employees as well as the business.

"It does have a huge impact on the bottom line. You have a huge positive return on investment or you can if you invest over a period of time. So investing in your employees is investing in your company and ultimately reaching your company mission or company goal," said Wieczorek.

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