Some businesses are taking health push seriously

According to a recent story, American Solutions for Business in Glenwood, Minnesota has made some healthy options available to its employees and it’s working.

The company was chosen to be part of a pilot program organized by the Minnesota Department of Health known as the Statewide Health Improvement Program. The program aims to make it easier for people to choose healthier behaviors.

The program focuses on the top three preventable causes of illness and death in the U.S.: tobacco; physical inactivity and improper nutrition. Exercise and healthy eating are easy things for companies to have an impact on their employees throughout the work week.

American Solutions hosted a two-hour health and wellness fair where more than a dozen area businesses and organizations set up booths and shared information to encourage healthy living.

American Solutions also set up walking teams so that employees could be active during their noon hours or other breaks. Participants track their mileage online. When they reach certain goals, the employees earn incentive gifts such as water bottles and pedometers.

Several pieces of exercise equipment are made available for employees to use on their breaks.

American Solutions also makes healthy snacks available in the break rooms of its eight buildings. Employees are asked to donate 50 to 75 cents each time they help themselves to yogurt, fruit, granola bars and cheese sticks.

The efforts in Glenwood are similar to the goals of the Vitality Initiative in New Richmond. The grassroots group hopes to encourage local businesses in their efforts to provide activity opportunities for employees during normal work hours.

Some local companies already do that, such as Phillips Plastics, but more could be done across the community.