American Heart Association Looking for Fit-Friendly Worksites

Jackson area businesses are encouraged to apply for the American Heart Association’s Fit-Friendly Worksites Program. Applications are due by November 1, 2013. The program recognizes employers who champion the health of their employees by creating physical activity programs within the workplace and is designed to be a catalyst for positive change in American business. The program is also meant to encourage other worksites to participate and demonstrate similar physical activity practices for their employees.

Adult Americans spend the majority of their waking hours at work, many in sedentary careers — amplifying the risk for medical problems such as obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes. Obesity alone costs American businesses $12.7 billion in medical expenses and $225.8 billion in health-related productivity losses per year.

“The American Heart Association is pleased to work with local companies to encourage and empower employees to become healthier,” said Jennifer Wellhausen, Metro Jackson Vice President of the American Heart Association. “The Fit-Friendly Worksite Program’s focus on physical activity, nutrition and culture enhancements can dramatically improve the well-being of an organization’s workforce and increase overall productivity.”

Studies suggest that implementing a worksite physical activity program and promoting a culture of physical activity will help companies increase productivity, reduce absenteeism, lower turnover and reduce hard costs. Research shows that employers can save $16 for every $1 they spend on health and wellness.

Fit-Friendly Worksites Program participants implement various options to encourage physical activity, nutrition and culture enhancements such as on-site walking routes, healthy food options in cafeterias and vending machines, annual employee health risk assessments and online tracking tools.

Companies interested in joining the Start! Fit-Friendly Worksite Program should contact the Metro Jackson American Heart Association office at 601-321-1200 or visit to download an application.