The American Heart Association recently recognized energy company DCP Midstream as a Platinum-Level Fit-Friendly Worksite for assisting its employees in practicing better eating habits and exercising more. This achievement follows the Company’s initiative to implement a wellness program five years ago, in order to improve the health of its workers, as well as support them in terms of health care costs.
The company has been recognized for offering its workers options of physical activities in the workplace, expanding healthy dietary options, promoting a culture of wellness, revealing measurable results from the wellness program, as well as implementing at least nine of the criteria designed by the association regarding physical activity, nutrition and culture.
“Physical activity and employee wellness are important priorities at DCP Midstream,” said DCP Midstream’s chairman and CEO Wouter van Kempen. “We are honored and excited to be recognized by the American Heart Association as a Platinum-Level Fit-Friendly Worksite. We’re committed to providing the best workplace environment possible. This will benefit our employees’ health and produce even more positive results for our worksite overall.”
DCP Midstream’s wellness program has seen a 15% increase in participation annually, as it grants points as well as a wellness credit on paychecks, to each employee as they complete tasks. The tasks include biometric screening, health risk evaluations, online training courses, doctor’s and dentist’s appointments, team and individual health competitions, as well as trackers associated to wellness such as water consumption, hours of sleep, or vegetable consumption.
“The Fit-Friendly Worksites Program offers easy-to-implement ways for organizations to help employees eat better and move more, which will help improve their health — and their employer’s bottom line,” added the vice president of the company’s human resources, Tamara Bray. “Even people who haven’t exercised regularly until middle age can reap significant benefits by starting a walking program. A study published in 1986 in the New England Journal of Medicine found that some adults may gain two hours of life expectancy for every hour of regular, vigorous exercise they performed.”
The program is designed to enhance the US work force by supporting employers’ efforts to help their workers and make their health and well-being a priority. The association data revealed that about $225.8 billion are lost annually by employers in expenses related to health and healthcare, while numerous costs and productivity losses are associated with the sedentary characteristic of jobs.
A lack of engagement in regular physical activity can increase the risk of developing medical problems like obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes. In fact, obesity has been noted to cause approximately $12.7 billion in annual medical expenses. Therefore, the American Heart Association is dedicated to changing the health culture in US companies and motivating both employers and employees to engage in regular physical activity and make better nutrition choices.
By joining the Fit-Friendly Worksites program, employers become eligible to be officially recognized by the American Heart Association, which is essential for wellness programs. The Fit-Friendly Worksites programs are listed on the program’s national website, at the Denver Fit-Friendly Worksite Symposium and at the Denver Heart & Stroke Walk, and are also able to utilize the program’s annual recognition seal for internal communications and with external, recruitment-related communications.