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Why Your Workplace Should Join the #HealthyChoicesCount Movement

#HealthyChoicesCount Movement

September 10, 2019

We spend a majority of our waking hours at work. It’s a place where we’re expected to be present, productive and focused. Therefore, work should be an environment where healthy habits are encouraged, but unfortunately many workplaces do just the opposite: Pizza in the breakroom, hours of sitting at a desk and stress-inducing work are considered normal.

If you wish your workplace provided healthier food options for celebrations and meetings, made opportunities for physical activity accessible during the work day and better supported employees emotionally, there are resources available to help your employer make the healthy choice the easy choice.

5-2-1-0 in the Workplace — an effort led by the Healthiest State Initiative — breaks down the key concepts of workplace wellness into the focus areas of Eat Well, Move More and Feel Better. Here’s why your workplace should sign-up:

The Stakes Are High

Employers should have a vested interest in the health of their employees because it comes with a hefty price tag if they don’t. Obesity is one of the biggest drivers of preventable chronic diseases and healthcare costs in the nation (as much as $200 billion per year!) including the costs of absenteeism and reduced productivity.

It’s Inexpensive

No workplace is too big or too small to invest in workplace wellness. Many of the action items suggested by 5-2-1-0 in the Workplace are low- to no-cost opportunities. Not only will you improve the health of your employees and end up saving money in the long-run, but your organization will join a multi-sector initiative across the state.

It’s Free to Get Started!

Registration is free and can be completed at IowaHealthiestState.com/5210Workplace. Employers will fill out a survey to evaluate their current environment, be given free resources to set goals and make changes, and then re-evaluated annually to determine progress. Resources can be used to start a wellness program, enhance an existing one or evaluate past or current wellness efforts.

Pssst … there are even more perks! Registered workplaces will also receive statewide recognition, an exclusive quarterly newsletter and eligibility to apply for a Healthiest State Annual Workplace Award, among other benefits.

Be Part of a Bigger Movement

More than 200 schools, early care sites, out-of-school programs and healthcare clinics have already registered. Now, 5-2-1-0 in the Workplace provides the opportunity for the message to be tailored for adults, so it reaches Iowans of all ages. Workplaces who sign up will join an important network of sectors working towards healthier environments where Iowans live, learn, work and play.

We Are Role Models

Workplaces have the unique ability to positively influence healthy habits of both employees and the children in their lives through workplace wellness programming. As adults, we are the role models for our state’s future generations. The vitality and sustainability of Iowa’s workforce depends on reversing the trend and moving our state in a healthier direction.

Iowa workplaces have a crucial role and responsibility to play in creating a happier and healthier state. As a local business leader in Greater Des Moines (DSM), you have an opportunity to make a difference by signing up your organization as a 5-2-1-0 Healthy Choices Count! Registered Workplace.

No matter your company size or sector, register your workplace to affirm your commitment to make the healthy choice — the easy choice — for your employees. We want Iowans of all ages to hear the 5-2-1-0 message and be inspired to make healthier choices about what they eat, drink and do every day.

More about 5-2-1-0 Healthy Choices Count!

5-2-1-0 Healthy Choices Count! was launched in October 2017 by Gov. Kim Reynolds as a childhood health initiative and is utilized statewide by communities, healthcare clinics, schools and early care sites.

5-2-1-0 is a proven, scientific method that focuses on the importance of good habits. Healthy choices are encouraged with four numbers:

  • 5 or more fruits or vegetables each day
  • 2 hours or less of recreational screen time
  • 1 hour or more of physical activity
  • 0 sugary drinks — drink more water!

Named as the #13 Best Place to Live in the U.S. and #7 Best City for Living the American Dream, Greater Des Moines (DSM) is the fastest growing metro in the Midwest. Learn more about what it’s like to live here.

Lauren Kollauf

Lauren Kollauf oversees day-to-day operation and goals of The Avenues of Ingersoll and Grand, including economic development, marketing and promotion, public art initiatives, beautification efforts, events and the streetscape project. Lauren lives in the North of Grand neighborhood with her husband, son and their dog.