Lee Memorial Health System Recognized as a Fit-Friendly Worksite

Lee Memorial Health System has been recognized as a Platinum-Level Fit-Friendly Worksite by the American Heart Association for engaging employees in programs and initiatives that promote a healthy lifestyle by encouraging them to eat better and move more.

“Wellness is an important priority for Lee Memorial Health System, so we are honored and excited to be recognized by the American Heart Association as a Platinum-Level Fit-Friendly Worksite,” says Jim Nathan, President of Lee Memorial Health System. “We do a lot to encourage wellness in the workplace to keep employees happier and healthier. When you consider the fact that most adults spend more time at work than anywhere else, it makes sense to incorporate healthy habits in the work environment. This lifestyle also tends to carry over to the home.”

The Fit-Friendly Worksites program is a catalyst for positive change in the American workforce by helping worksites make their employees’ health and wellness a priority. Lee Memorial Health System has been Fit-Friendly since 2008, and has continued year after year to maintain a Platinum status since July of 2011.

Platinum-level employers:

• Offer employees physical activity options in the workplace.
• Increase healthy eating options at the worksite.
• Promote a wellness culture in the workplace.
• Implement at least nine criteria outlined by the American Heart Association in the areas of physical activity, nutrition and culture.
• Demonstrate measurable outcomes related to workplace wellness.

“Health and wellness is so much more than the absence of disease. It’s about quality of life,” explains Sal Lacagnina, D.O., Vice President of Health and Wellness for Lee Memorial Health System. “We want wellness to become part of the local culture, reaching people through education and action before they become sick, so they can extend their years and enjoy them more fully.”
According to the American Heart Association, American employers are losing an estimated $225.8 billion a year because of healthcare expenses and health-related losses in productivity, and those numbers are rising. Many American adults spend most of their waking hours at sedentary jobs. Their lack of regular 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 American Heart Association is working to change corporate cultures by motivating employees to start walking, which has the lowest dropout rate of any physical activity.

For more information about the Fit-Friendly Worksites program and how it is helping to improve the health of Americans by focusing on an activity that is convenient, free and easy, visit www.startwalkingnow.org

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