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New Web-Based Wellness Resource Offers North Carolina Small Businesses Tools to Improve Employee Health and Increase Productivity

 

For release: Immediate    February 3, 2012
Contact: Mark Van Sciver, 919-707-5059

RALEIGH – Gov. Bev Perdue announces the launch of a free, web-based tool to help small businesses develop worksite wellness programs. WorkWell NC, coordinated through the N.C. Division of Public Health, offers free resources to help small business owners and their employees who want to lose weight, quit smoking and manage stress. The WorkWell NC toolkit may be found at www.EatSmartMoveMoreNC.com.

“A healthy, educated workforce is essential to keeping North Carolina’s economic engine well tuned,” said Gov Perdue. “I am committed to providing the tools that businesses need to grow, thrive and keep employees healthy and on the job. Programs like WorkWell NC are an integral part of this effort.”

According to the Small Business Administration, nearly 50 percent of people employed in North Carolina are employed by a small business (500 or less employees). Nearly one-third of uninsured people are employed by small businesses with less than 100 workers, according to the 2008 Current Population Survey. The WorkwellNC resources provide small businesses the opportunity to offer their employees a benefit that will help keep them healthier and ultimately reduce health care costs.

“There is strong evidence that participating in a worksite wellness program pays off for employers,” said Dr. Ruth Petersen of the N.C. Division of Public Health. “The American Institute for Preventive Medicine estimates that worksite wellness programs deliver an average of $3 return on investment for every $1 spent, through increased productivity and reduced health care costs.”

The toolkit is complete – with information ranging from implementing a worksite wellness program to measuring results. Business owners can download posters, newsletters, sign-up sheets, certificates, surveys and evaluation tools. The kit also includes links to videos featuring fellow business owners from a variety of North Carolina companies promoting healthy lifestyles and seeing results. One example that businesses can easily implement is the Ten Minute Challenge¬ - a pre-programmed set of activities that employees can do in 10 minutes to improve their health.

“A healthy and productive workforce means a better bottom line for businesses,” said N.C. Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco. “However, addressing tomorrow’s health conditions today is not only good for business, it’s important for the employee so they can lead a healthier and more active life.”

“I would encourage any business owner to try it – making small changes in your working environment can lead to really big results,” said Tara Olsen, Owner of All Points Research in Winston-Salem, speaking about her experience with worksite wellness in one of the featured videos. Other video success stories feature A-10 Clinical Solutions, Acme McCrary Corporation, The Biltmore Company, The Body Shop, Carolina Pad, RE Mason and Salina Naturally.

Eat Smart, Move More North Carolina is a statewide movement that promotes increased opportunities for healthy eating and physical activity wherever people live, learn, earn, play and pray. For more information on healthful eating and active lifestyles, visit www.MyEatSmartMoveMore.com.

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