Conference offers blueprint for improving employee wellness
AMARILLO – The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will host “Building a Healthy Workplace: A How-To Blueprint” on Oct. 17 in Amarillo.
“We know an important place to reach and support adults is in the workplace,” said Miquela Smith, AgriLife Extension health specialist in Amarillo. “So, we are extending our outreach to employers and human resources staff to put tools in place that will improve employees’ lives and help reduce the burden of chronic diseases.”
Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. and the program at 9 a.m. The event will be held in the Amarillo College Business and Industry Center Exhibit Hall, Room 134, 1314 S. Polk St. Through a partnership with Amarillo College, 0.7 continuing education unit will be offered.
There is a $60 fee if registered by Oct. 5 and $75 after that. No registration will be taken at the door. To register for the conference, visit https://agriliferegister.tamu.edu/HealthyTexas.
Building a Healthy Workplace is a part of the Healthy Texas initiative launches by AgriLife Extension in the High Plains earlier this year.
During the workshop, Smith and other AgriLife Extension health specialists will share innovative best practices and train attendees on how to create a culture of health in the workplace and allow businesses to design their own custom wellness program.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least seven of the top 10 leading causes of death in the U.S. and Texas are preventable chronic diseases. Additionally, 80 percent of the chronic diseases could be prevented through four key lifestyle factors: a healthy diet, adequate physical activity, a healthy body weight and not smoking.
Smith said employer-based corporate wellness, benefits and human resources staff, as well as healthcare, insurance and safety/risk management professionals are expected to be among the attendees, “but anyone interested in worksite wellness may attend.”
The program includes a comprehensive guidebook, resource materials, a networking lunch and a panel question and answer session.
Smith said AgriLife Extension has offered a wide range of health and wellness programs to groups for many years, but “we are trying to expand our reach and realize employers don’t necessarily have the knowledge or resources in place to implement an overall wellness strategy.
“Our program is a low-cost alternative that can help organizations tailor programs to meet their needs and engage employees to produce measurable results,” she said.
Smith said the programming can help employees make improvements in their physical activity, healthy food consumption, weight loss and blood pressure, all of which can help reduce absenteeism and lower health care costs for businesses.