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Wednesday
Oct212015

Five U.S. Health Promotion Programs to Use as Models for Success

Health clubs play a key role in helping to increase physical activity levels nationwide, and there are a number of opportunities to advance this mission outside of a health club facility – many of which involve working closely with local residents and governments to bring health promotion programs to the community, state, and across the nation.

The following programs provide inspiration for programs that you can launch in your community or state, opportunities to advance local health promotion efforts in the work that you are doing at your club, and ideas for finding strategic partners in your community to advance the mission of your business.

1. The CEO Pledge for Healthy Workplaces

If a CEO is active and supports her employees in being physically active, then it is likely that her employees will become involved in these opportunities as well.

This was the motivation behind the NCPPA’s promotion of the CEO Pledge. The campaign was designed to encourage businesses and corporations to acknowledge the importance of workplace wellness programs and the benefits that they can provide to employees. So far, over 400 CEOs across the country have signed the pledge as a way of crediting physical activity as a major component in leading a healthy lifestyle.  

Signing the pledge not only takes steps toward building a stronger culture of health and wellness, but also provides an excellent opportunity to build lasting relationships with leading corporations.

2. Build Your Club Community with Shape Up Somerville

Communities that stay healthy together are the ones that prosper.

Shape Up Somerville (SUS) is a 15-year plan that is working toward building a healthier community. SUS began in 2002 as a CDC-funded study led by community members in conjunction with Tufts University to prevent obesity among school-aged children (1st-3rd grade) through environmental change.

Since then, the program has been adopted by the city of Somerville, Massachusetts and has become a community-wide initiative that supports the development and maintenance of healthy habits. 

As a health club, partnering with a local community initiative such as this brands your business as being generous and receptive to the needs of local community members.  It also acts as an opportunity for membership growth. Who doesn’t want to be a member of a club that prides itself on being active in the community?

3. Healthy Hawaii Starts with Youth

Healthy Hawaii is a public prevention program that was started in 2000 to help Hawaii’s residents lead healthier lifestyles by partnering with schools, community programs, public and professional education programs, research studies, and nutrition networks.

The statewide initiative addresses three behaviors that have contributed to the rise in chronic disease prevalence – inactivity, poor diet, and smoking.

Prevention starts with knowledge, and knowledge is gained through experience. Children are the future of this nation and as such, it is important to instill healthy habits at a young age.  Partnering with a local school is the best way for your club to demonstrate its investment in the health of future generations. Hosting a field day for children could be an effective idea to allow kids to participate in a variety of sports and games and help them realize that exercise can be both healthy and fun.

4. Speak Up for Healthy Eating Active Living Cities

Healthy policy is the best policy.

The Healthy Eating Active Living Cities Campaign urges city officials in California to adopt policies that would expand opportunities for physical activity in every community and would work to better retail food environments.

Some of these policies cover topics such as land use, healthy food availability and consumption, and building upon and looking for opportunities to start employee wellness programs.

Encouraging health club members to voice their opinions on these issues is critical in order for change to occur. Holding an event where members can speak with city representatives about these issues shows that your club cares about the health of its members, community, and state and gives participants a sense of personal accomplishment by speaking up in support of good health and wellness.

5. Now Accepting Prescriptions for a Healthy Detroit

Healthy Detroit is a cause dedicated to creating and maintaining a culture of healthy lifestyles in the city of Detroit. Healthy Detroit was formed as part of the response to the U.S. Surgeon General’s National Prevention Strategy (NPS) and uses four strategic decisions from the strategy to help citizens of Detroit lead more active lives.

The goal of the program is to increase daily levels of physical activity, increase access to preventive healthcare services, and allow greater access to healthy food and meal choices.

Partnering with a program like Healthy Detroit could lead to an expansion of your club’s footprint in the area of medical wellness. Building connections within the medical community ensures that patients are receiving proper guidance on physical activity and nutrition practices and your club is being recognized as a valuable provider of both.

Did your favorite make the list? If not, let us know what other programs are happening in your community.

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