Tuesday, January 14, 2014
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Governor's Council on Health and Physical Fitness helps Illinoisans start a healthy new year

'Healthy Worksite' designation and We Choose Health 365 launched

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[January 14, 2014]  CHICAGO As part of the effort to improve the well-being of Illinois residents, the Governor's Council on Health and Physical Fitness hosted a kickoff event on Friday at the Gary Comer Youth Center in Chicago to encourage Illinois citizens to participate in health and fitness activities that will help them live healthier, happier and more productive lives. Interactive sessions such as "Walk Across Illinois Counties Bingo," "Cooking Matters" demo, "Are You Fitter Than a Fifth Grader" and "Muscle Up With the Mascots" demonstrated how residents can incorporate healthy habits into their lives.

"The best preventative medicine is a healthy lifestyle," said Gov. Pat Quinn. "Innovative programs like the ones we're kicking off today will help people from every corner of Illinois on the path toward healthy living."

"Good nutrition and regular exercise can help reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure and many other chronic diseases and serious health conditions," said Illinois Department of Public Health Director LaMar Hasbrouck. "I encourage residents to take charge of their health and to actively participate in improving the health of their community."

Many people spend a large part of their day at work, so IDPH is launching the Illinois Healthy Worksite Annual Recognition, a program to engage healthy practices that benefit both the employer and employees. Workplaces can seek the "Healthy Worksite" designation at the gold, silver or bronze achievement level by completing up to five criteria as outlined below:


1. Actively promote and support healthy nutrition at work.

2. Provide and encourage opportunities for physical activity at work.


3. Develop a 12-month Health & Wellness Calendar and an ongoing communication plan to promote employee health and well-being throughout the year.

4. Demonstrate a commitment to employee health and well-being by making it part of the organization's mission statement, goals and operations.

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5. Develop lifestyle and disease management strategies and measure their success annually.

To help workplaces succeed in becoming healthier and achieving the "Healthy Worksite" designation, IDPH is also launching We Choose Health 365, a wellness portal providing customized company competitions, health tools and trackers, as well as education materials. Participants will have 24/7 access to a food and calorie tracker; recipes with local coupons; a weight and activity tracker; exercise, walking and weight-loss company challenges; and more. Register at www.wechoosehealth365.org and click "Join Today." Also find out about the "Amazing Challenge," coming Feb. 1.

Helping businesses and residents work together to improve the health of their communities is one way IDPH is working toward developing essential partnerships and implementing the department's five-year strategy. For a copy of the strategic plan, go to http://www.idph.state.il.us/about/

[Text from Illinois Department of Public Health file received from the Illinois Office of Communication and Information]

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