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October 17, 2012
Employers asked to take pledge as part of wellness initiative

A new statewide effort, Workplace Wellness Campaign (WWC), has set an ambitious goal of signing up 1,000 employers representing 10,000 workers by next summer and a million workers within 5 years.

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The WWC was launched late last month by the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute in partnership with the New Jersey Business and Industry Association and the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce. The campaign will provide tools to develop active-living initiatives that improve health and reduce healthcare costs.

Modeled after the successful Mayors Wellness Campaign, corporate leaders are expected to become champions of health. Employers will be asked to sign a simple pledge in order to join the campaign. The pledge states that the organization “pledges to promote wellness within our company.” There is no cost to join.

State Health Commissioner Mary E. O’Dowd said improving the health and wellness of New Jersey citizens is a priority. She believes the workplace is an ideal place to promote fitness and nutrition.

According to a federal study, worksites and offices with a physical activity program reduced their costs by 20 percent to 50 percent, reduced short-term sick level by 6 percent to 32 percent, and increased productivity by 2 percent to 52 percent.

The WWC is applicable to diverse workplaces of all sizes. A dedicated website will share best practices and evidence-based programs in fitness, nutrition, chronic disease, and community health. The program is supported with a grant from The Walmart Foundation.

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