Worksite Wellness

Even small changes in the work environment can have an impact on productivity, absenteeism and health care utilization. Below is a menu of no and low cost employee wellness policies, sample language from cities that have passed policies and additional resources such as model language and fact sheets to support the passage of these policies.

Employee Wellness Policies that address nutrition and physical activity in the workplace are powerful tools for preventing obesity and supporting worker health. Specific topics include nutrition standards, provision of opportunities and incentives for physical activity, breastfeeding accomodation, siting of facilities near transit and healthy food retail, bike facilities, commuter incentives, flex time and others. San Mateo County: adopted comprehensive policy which addresses a comprehensive range of interventions CDC's LeanWorks and the California Department of Public Health's Fit Business Kit
Nutrition Standards increase the availability of healthy food and beverages in the workplace. Specific policies include vending machine standards and contracts, standards for food and beverages served during meetings and at city sponsored events. El Monte, CA: requires 100% healthy items in vending machines, facilities, meetings and events California Center for Public Health Advocacy's "Model Nutrition Standards for Vending, Snacks, Beverages and Meals"
Physical activity breaks during the workday are inexpensive ways to support employees' achieving their recommended amount of daily exercise. They can help to reduce injuries, decrease absenteeism and increase productivity. Specific municipal policies include Instant Recess!, active stairwell policies and walking meetings.

Orange County Health Department: provides Instant Recess! To employees on paid time

Chino, CA: has a long standing stairwell policy and program

Dr. Yancey's Instant Recess Model Policy

ChangeLab Solutions' "Unlocking the Stairwells: It's Not risky and It's Good for Business"

Breastfeeding accomodation for employees returning from maternal leave. Because breastfed babies have less illness, support for breastfeeding employees results in reduced employee absenteesim to care for ill children, improved productivity and higher morale. Baldwin Park: the city policy guides implementation of state accomodation law and includes mandates for annual employee and manager training US Department of Health and Human Services "Business Case for Breastfeeding"
Healthy Meeting Policies provide guidelines for food and beverages served at meetings and prescribes structured physical activity breaks for longer meetings. They also cover critera for the types and lengths of meetings that can be conducted during the course of a walk. Mountain View, CA: requires healthy food and beverages be offered at meetings and celebrations, along with physical activity breaks  University of California, Berkeley: Cal's "Eat Well Program" offers guidelines for entrees, snacks, catering, events