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Wellness program takes staffers on 8,000-mile walk

NKAPC staff members logged enough individual steps recently to equal walking over 8,000 miles in a 24-week period. This was one of several recent health initiatives undertaken by staff to get fit and hold down the rising costs of health insurance premiums.

Rolled out early this spring under the banner “Fit Happens,” the program was the latest in a series of initiatives by NKAPC’s health and wellness committee to improve staff health and impact annual insurance premiums. The committee is comprised of employee representatives from each department.

The campaign began with a voluntary health risk assessment in January which included a biometric screening. Following the health risk assessment, the wellness committee challenged co-workers and teammates to “Step it up” and “Take it off”.

The “Step It Up” program asked each staff member to set a weekly step goal and then to meet or exceed that goal each week.  Twenty-two staff members rose to the challenge and armed with pedometers, hit the street. The results were better than anticipated. In logging the 8,000+ miles, participants contributed a little over 15 miles per week per person.

Steve Dahlheimer, a principal building official, won in the category of most steps with 4,811,190 steps. Trisha Brush, GISP, the director of GIS administration, won in the category of exceeding weekly step goals; she exceeded her weekly goal by 151%. Her total was 3,082,659 steps.

The “Take it off” program encouraged staff to lose excess pounds they have wanted to take off. John Lauber, a senior building official, won that challenge by losing ten percent of his body weight.

“These are just the most recent examples of the many health initiatives undertaken by the employees at NKAPC,” according to Jan Crabb, PHR, finance/HR administrator. “According to the 2013 Compensation and Benefits Survey commissioned by the Northern Kentucky City/County Management Association, our premiums are now equal to or in most cases lower than those paid by other local jurisdictions offering similar or even less coverage.”

Crabb points to the fact that NKAPC experienced no rate increase for the organization’s July 2013 renewal as proof that the programs are working.

“We hope it’s the beginning of a very welcome trend,” she concluded.