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Recognizing the Fitness HEROes Among Us

IHRSA Joins Conversation On Workplace Health and Wellness at 2016 HERO Forum

Amy Bantham, IHRSA’s VP of health promotion & health policy just returned from the 2016 HERO Forum (a ‘think tank’ of health and wellness leaders) who gathered to discuss the importance of workplace environments on the health of employees, families, and entire communities.

More than 500 leaders from across the health and wellness industry met in Atlanta to discuss their experiences “Leading in Well-Being” and share ideas and best practices about how to create a nationwide culture of wellness.

Addressing the need to establish wellness as a cultural priority, former Assistant Secretary for Health, Dr. Howard Koh implored more organizations to become involved in educational research—citing a new collaboration between Harvard Business School and Harvard School of Public Health focused on examining whether or not a culture of health in the workplace is a business imperative.

Physical activity interventions were also mentioned as part of discussions about workplace well-being initiatives.

As the national spokesperson for the CEO Pledge, Jack Groppel, Ph.D. and co-founder of the Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute, emphasized the significant effect physical activity has on employee health and business performance. IHRSA strongly supports the CEO Pledge, as it would help our members build lasting relationships with influential corporations.

Other noteworthy initiatives that were discussed include the 100 Million Healthier Lives in America initiative, which focuses on social interactions and building partnerships to get 100 million people regularly active by 2020, and the Move More Challenge, an eight-week physical activity program incorporating wearable devices to encourage increased physical activity.

Major corporations in attendance included Target, Delta Airlines, Wells Fargo, and the Cleveland Clinic—all of whom emphasized the importance of using best practices and tracking metrics to clearly illustrate the physical and financial benefits that workplace wellness programs have on the health of the population.

“It was truly remarkable to see so many of our strategic allies in the physical activity community represented at the HERO Forum,” says Amy Bantham, IHRSA’s vice president of health policy and health promotion. “It is encouraging to know physical activity is becoming a priority and so many are dedicated to making the world a healthier place—one employee at a time. IHRSA and our industry partners have made it our mission to promote policies and develop resources that encourage active lifestyles. Armed with new knowledge from peers and a renewed sense of motivation, we are all excited to apply these fresh ideas to our workplace wellness models.”  

Interested in learning more about how to implement a workplace wellness program in your community? Look no further. Check out IHRSA’s resources on collaborating with businesses to make physical activity part of employees’ daily routines: