Hancock, Delaware Counties Honored by Wellness Council as Healthy Communities

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The Wellness Council of Indiana (WCI) recently honored two Indiana communities as Indiana Healthy Community Initiative designees. The designations are the first for the WCI program, which began earlier this year.

Hancock County and Muncie-Delaware County were awarded the title at the 2016 Indiana Health and Wellness Summit September 21-22 in downtown Indianapolis. The annual summit is the largest gathering of wellness professionals in Indiana, and was presented in partnership with the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, the Wellness Council of Indiana, the Indiana State Department of Health, INShape Indiana and the American Diabetes Association.

To be considered an Indiana Healthy Community, communities must apply to the WCI and meet eight key components, including working with various community leaders, getting citizens involved, analyzing political atmospheres and ensuring environments are best for making healthy choices. Part of the requirements include having a certain number of businesses certified as AchieveWELL companies, a WCI designation for individual organizations (see AchieveWELL information and list below).

Additionally, community leaders identify short-term and long-term strategies to ensure a healthy community for all citizens. WCI representatives assist communities in providing best practices for achieving community goals.

“The premise of the Indiana Healthy Community Initiative is to drive economic growth and development for communities, so that when companies want to relocate or start in Indiana, they’re looking at communities where health is a priority,” WCI Executive Director Chuck Gillespie says.

“And in these areas – like in Delaware and Hancock counties – what companies will find are healthier employees and families, lower insurance costs and a productive workforce.”

Six other counties – Putnam, Howard, Dubois, Kosciusko, Monroe and Hendricks – are all in various stages of involvement with the Indiana Healthy Community Initiative.

Locations interested in becoming Indiana Healthy Communities can visit the WCI web site (Healthy Communities tab) for more information and to apply.

The Wellness Council of Indiana is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce.

WellCert Level 1: A Must for All Employee Wellness Professionals

Wellness-Indiana-LogoYour wellness career didn’t come with an instruction manual. Let’s face it, creating sustained behavior change is hard.

Professionals like you need specialized skills to create effective wellness programs for the organizations they serve. We are passionate about empowering wellness professionals with the tools they need to succeed. That’s why we’re bringing you WellCert.

WellCert Level 1, Certified Wellness Program Coordinator (CWPC) is a professional certification training course with a unique skill-focus that ensures graduates can immediately put their knowledge to work on the job. Designed by Chapman Institute founder Larry S. Chapman MPH, WellCert synthesizes 40+ years of experience with over 1,000 organizations.

WHAT: WellCert Level 1 Certified Wellness Program Coordinator (CWPC) training course
WHEN: October 29-30, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
WHERE: Indiana Chamber Conference Center
WHO SHOULD ATTEND?
– Worksite wellness professionals
– Presidents, CEOs, CFOs and COOs
– Brokers
– Benefit managers
– Wellness committee members
– Human resource staff
PRICE: $1,350, Wellness Council member price: $1,050 with code WI-Member-15

Drawing from best-practice solutions and proven industry research, WellCert provides the skills needed to plan, implement, manage and measure employee wellness programs that improve health and reduce employee costs. Register for the October course today to ensure you’re well-equipped with cutting-edge expertise to create programs that deliver results.

Winter Wellness: Keep It Simple

This column was originally posted at Inside INdiana Business:

Braving the brisk air for a jog may be the last thing you want to do when you wake up. Pursuing indoor activities is a rewarding alternative. Head to the gym or pop in an exercise DVD. Short on time? No problem. You don’t have to use a treadmill or lift weights. Spend two or three minutes doing stretching exercises. Take deep breaths as you prepare for the day ahead.

During your workday, keep active. Conduct standing or walking meetings. In addition, discuss projects in person with co-workers rather than always using e-mail. Or call them and stand up while you’re talking. Nine times out of 10, if I’m on the telephone, I’m moving.

If those options don’t appeal to you (it’s all about personalizing your initiative), try one of these simple desk exercises. Grab a Frisbee or paper plate and turn it upside down. Then put it under your desk and move your legs back and forth on the carpet. It’s a great way to work lower leg muscles.

Looking for inexpensive strength training tools? Use resistance bands (also called therapeutic bands) to stretch. Another idea is to replace your traditional office chair with a stability ball, which helps improve posture and works core muscles. If that is not an option, you can still engage your abs by sitting up straight on the edge of your chair and slightly leaning back.

Prefer something more social? Take a stroll on an indoor path with co-workers. After hours, create your own walking route at a shopping mall. And if the weather isn’t too chilly, venture outside and have fun! Take a scenic walk through the woods at a park or go sledding.

Did you know that you don’t have to exercise for long periods of time to reap the benefits? Ten minutes here and there – adding up to approximately 30 minutes a day – can make a big difference. The key is figuring out how you can incorporate physical activities into your normal day based on what you feel you are capable of doing and what interests you.

Take the stairs. Walk up an escalator rather than standing in place. When you’re grocery shopping, push your cart through every aisle. Small steps add up.

The holidays bring good tidings and… lots of temptation. Why not take a walk after a big meal with family and friends? Also, instead of sampling all of the festive foods you crave, enjoy one or two things and savor them.

Many people will enter 2013 with a resolution to stop smoking. It’s an important step that can dramatically improve your health and well-being. The QUIT NOW Tool  offered by the Wellness Council of Indiana is a valuable resource to assist Hoosier employees in their smoking cessation efforts.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, each smoker costs his or her organization $3,391 annually in direct medical costs and lost productivity. That’s a huge impact. Remember: Healthy employees lead to healthy workplaces with happier, more productive team members.

The best gift you can give to yourself is good health. Find what works for you and makes you happy. That’s how you truly make a lifestyle change.