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109 W. Madison Mt. Ayr, IA 50854 View Location

Dec 28

Worksite Wellness Efforts Gaining Ground

Mount Ayr and Diagonal schools are trying new menu items and continue to provide excellent physical education classes for students in cooperation with the Healthy Kids Act. What about the health of school staff? Students are more likely to believe in the value of health if they see their role models practicing it. Recognizing the importance of this, Ringgold County Public Health (RCPH) jump started efforts for both schools to develop worksite wellness programs.

RCPH, school staff and administration partnered to complete a worksite wellness assessment. The assessment pointed out strengths and opportunities for each school to promote health to employees. The goal is for schools to have a consistent wellness program that can help stall rising health care costs in the future. RCPH has also started the same process with Ringgold County Hospital, Ringgold County employees, Clearview Home and Mount Ayr Health Care.

Mount Ayr Community School was the first to form a wellness committee thanks to support and participation from administration and several health advocates from their staff. The committee developed a wellness action plan which includes offering and promoting a wellness activity for the staff each quarter. “I noticed an extra spring in the step of my co-workers when we participated in The Live Healthy Iowa program last quarter,” said school nurse, Stacey Andresen, RN. “We are excited about this quarter’s nutrition challenge. It is making a difference in people choosing healthier food options.”

A comprehensive worksite wellness program offers employees the opportunity to focus on physical activity, nutrition, and tobacco cessation. The toughest part of implementing a wellness program is taking the first step. Many employees in Ringgold County are thankful their workplace has been willing to do just that. The next chance for employees and residents to continue on their wellness journey — or take that first step — is the 100 Day Wellness Challenge. Registration opened December 19th at   The challenge starts January 28, 2013. Ringgold participants should enter LHIRINGGOLD in “Group ID” box to join.

If you would like more information on worksite wellness or Live Healthy Iowa, call Ringgold County Public Health at 641-464-0691.