By Jeff Gallatin
City workers intend to take a fast walk toward continuing good health practices.
Mayor Debbie Sutherland said the recently formed employee wellness committee is organizing an information fair in the next couple of weeks that will have information on good health practices, as well the city’s switch from cutting checks to direct deposit into bank accounts.
“We’re trying to get it set up for within the next couple of weeks,” she said. “We want to combine the information about the switchover to direct deposit as well as have information and materials related to the employee wellness programs we’re setting up. We’re looking at names like a wealthy, healthy program and other ways of working in both angles on the money and health.”
Sutherland said the committee wants it to be a fun atmosphere.
“We’re looking at having different tables or stations set up with information and materials on them,” she said. “We’ll have different times people can come to it.”
To help further emphasize the health aspect, Sutherland said fair workers will be giving out 100 pedometers, recently donated to the city by Kaiser Permanente, to municipal employees.
“It’s a great gesture on Kaiser’s part and will go a long way toward our work on getting people to be healthier, which in turn will make them more productive people and workers,” she said. “We’ll probably give them the pedometer when they pick up the financial materials or something where they’ll have to stop and get the information.”
In turn, Sutherland said the committee is looking at an event or contest that promotes the use of the pedometers.
“We want people to keep track of how much they’re walking and encourage them to do as much of it as possible,” she said. “We’re looking at trying to see which employees or teams of workers have the most people walk 10,000 steps. It’s about five and a half miles, so that’s a lot of steps.”
Sutherland said the city will be encouraging the workers to use the pedometers at home, and not just on the job.
“We want them to use them as much as possible,” she said. “We’re going to encourage them to get their families involved in this as well.”
Sutherland said she is working on getting more pedometers donated to the city, as well as any any other materials that could further the wellness work. The mayor also has issued an order prohibiting smokers from being hired as city workers in the future, unless they enroll in programs that lead to their becoming smoke-free.
“We’re working on having a long-running series of events and practices which would help promote better health for people,” she said. “This a long-term goal, which means we intend to implement a lot of good health practices.”