The Well-Being Journal

Five Hits of Community Well-Being for June

Sandy Cummings

The weather's looking good, and it's time to get out and enjoy it. Here's a quick list of community events to help improve your well-being in June.

June 6 – National Yo-Yo Day

National Yo-Yo Day is the perfect day to get out your yo-yo and have some fun playing “Sleeper,” “Walk the Dog” and “Shooting the Moon.” Believed to be invented in ancient Greece, the Yo-Yo became popular in America when Donald F. Duncan Sr. manufactured the “Duncan Yo-Yo” in the early 1900s. You can visit the National Yo-Yo Museum in Chico, California.

June 7 – National Trails Day

National Trails Day is a celebration of America’s magnificent trail system and features a series of outdoor activities designed to promote the importance of the 200,000 miles of trails in the United States. Trails provide access to the natural world for recreation, education, exploration, solitude and inspiration, and they give us a means to support good physical and mental health. Pick a trail and breathe fresh air, get your heart pumping, and escape from stress.

Individuals, clubs and organizations from around the country host a wide array of trail activities: hiking, biking, paddling, horseback riding, trail running, bird watching and more. Check out the website for an official event being held near you.

 

Heath Jones, Healthways Coach-of-the-Year and member of the Innergy team at Healthways' Seattle Well-Being Improvement Center, is “Stepping It Up” in June as he gets ready for a 40-mile hike in Yosemite over Fourth of July weekend. In preparation, Heath will be hiking by himself or with a group every week, mountain biking twice with his friend Nick, logging at least four miles on the step-mill at the gym each week, and continuing his regular strength training routine. That's Heath training in the great outdoors of the Pacific Northwest!

June 14 – National Get Outdoors Day

National Get Outdoors Day encourages healthy, active outdoor fun. Prime goals of the day are to reach first-time visitors to public lands and reconnect youth to the outdoors. Participating partners will offer opportunities for families to experience traditional and non-traditional types of outdoor activities.

June 19 – National Recess at Work Day

Rich DiGirolamo, founder of Recess at Work, believes that to keep people engaged, loyal and productive, you need to create a work environment that is fun. But having fun at work and being a fun place to work are two very different things. Recess at Work is an opportunity to create team spirit, engage employees, increase morale, improve health and wellness, and share your fun side with your colleagues.

June 28 – Great American Backyard Campout

The Great American Backyard Campout is a part of the National Wildlife Federation’s efforts to help inspire Americans to protect wildlife, including a three-year campaign to get 10 million kids to spend regular outdoor time in nature. Thousands of people across the nation will gather in their backyards, neighborhoods, communities and parks to take part in this annual event that provides a fun-filled evening for all generations to get outside and connect with nature.

Topics: Healthy Living Well-Being In the News Exercise Workplace Well-Being Physical Health Health Emotional Health Community Daily Challenge Healthways Events Wellness Program

It's Better to Give

Jennifer Rudloff

With the holiday season upon us, Healthways continues its tradition of partnering with local organizations to shop for children who are at risk or less fortunate. It’s a tradition that began several years ago when a group of administrative assistants suggested this thoughtful idea as an alternative to a colleague gift exchange and lunch.

Getting Ready to Shop St. Louis colleagues getting ready to shop

At each of our locations, colleagues step away from their desks in the holiday spirit and head out by the busload to shop. Each person gets to shop for a specific child, picking up items from their list like clothes, toys and books. Healthways picks up the tab and we all get to be a part of spreading holiday cheer into our communities. It’s one of our colleagues’ favorite ways to be involved in sustaining our values-based culture.

With all of our locations participating, Healthways expects to give more than $120,000 worth of gifts and donations this year. Several locations have already completed their shopping, and others will wrap up this week. It’s wonderful to think about the smiles that will light up on Christmas morning, knowing that we’re helping bring joy and showing love and compassion to those who need it.

These are some of the local organizations and people our colleagues across the U.S. are working with to shop for those in need:

Wrapping Our San Antonio location aglow wrapping gifts for kids. See more pictures as they roll in on our Facebook page.

Chandler, Ariz.: Boys & Girls Clubs of the East Valley, Child Crisis Center, Sojourner Center, New Horizon Youth Homes, Be a Santa to a Senior
Des Moines, Iowa: Bidwell Riverside Center
Franklin, Tenn. (HQ): Youth Villages and McNeilly Children’s Center
Hawaii: Hawaii H.O.M.E. Project
Minnesota: Union Gospel Mission
Salt Lake City, Utah: Two families who have a child receiving treatment for cancer at Primary Children's Medical Center
San Antonio, Texas: Family Services Association and San Antonio Humane Society
St. Louis, Mo.: Operation Food Search together with 7 different churches in North St. Charles county
Others in Dallas, Texas and Seattle, Wash.

You can help too.
We know from the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index® that there are many Americans having trouble affording basic necessities like shelter and food. So we’d like to challenge you to also take a moment this holiday season to count your blessings, and think about how you can bestow one on someone in need. And maybe even make a tradition of it.

Even if you can’t give a tangible gift, an intangible gift such as your presence can mean the world to someone and benefit you too. A Gallup survey in conjunction with the Well-Being Index found that people who volunteered in the last six months experienced higher personal well-being across all domains (emotional health, healthy behavior, physical health and more) than those who did not volunteer. It just goes to show that it's truly better to give.

Topics: Financial Well-Being Basic Access Physical Health Emotional Health Community Well-Being Index Culture Events Leadership

Third Annual Ragnar Relay Tennessee, Sponsored by Healthways

Jennifer Rudloff

Healthways is a proud sponsor of the third annual Ragnar Relay Tennessee, which began today as more than 2,600 runners of all ages took their mark in Chattanooga, Tenn., on a journey toward Nashville. Teams of 12 runners divide the 196 miles into 36 relay legs.

Along the way, teams will pass by volunteer-supported exchanges for recharging. Healthways headquarters in Franklin is exchange #30, where teams can stop for food, hydration and rest. They’ll finish the race at Nashville’s Walk of Fame Park on Saturday, Nov. 10 between 2 and 8 p.m.

With its great weather and beautiful outdoors, the state of Tennessee should be a shining example of well-being. However, Tennessee ranks as the 10th worst state in the nation in terms of overall well-being and the fifth worst in physical health (according to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index®). The Ragnar Relay provides a wonderful opportunity for Healthways to support the state’s well-being improvement and a great cause.

This year, Ragnar Relay Tennessee partnered with Soles4Souls, a nonprofit organization that helps provide new and lightly used shoes to individuals and families in need. The organization has been collecting shoes around the state at several retail locations and from runners; they will donate the thousands of pairs collected after the race to families in need throughout Tennessee.

Thank you to all of the Healthways colleagues who are participating—runners and volunteers. If you see any Ragnar participants this weekend, join us in cheering them on!

Topics: Healthy Living Exercise Physical Health Health Community Well-Being Index Healthways Events

Chicago launches its innovative wellness program designed by Healthways, setting an example for the rest of the country

Jennifer Rudloff

 

Chris Cigarran and Ernie Banks Chris Cigarran, vice president at Healthways, and Cubs legend Ernie Banks celebrate the kickoff of Chicago’s new wellness program at a July 27, 2012 press conference.

This past Friday brought much excitement—both for our nation, as we began cheering on Olympic contenders, and for our company, as we cheered on the city of Chicago in the launch of its new wellness program, designed and implemented by Healthways.

Introduced by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel last Friday at a press conference, the Chicago Lives Healthy program is now available to more than 47,000 city employees and their spouses/domestic partners who are eligible. It’s one of the largest, most comprehensive government wellness program ever introduced.

Aimed at helping people achieve improvements in their well-being and live healthier lives, the program offers access to a comprehensive suite of tools and capabilities through Healthways. Chicago Lives Healthy is also expected to help contain out-of-pocket healthcare expenses while saving the city and taxpayers money.

Healthways Vice President Chris Cigarran spoke at the press conference, helping introduce the groundbreaking wellness program. “It’s simple,” he said, “healthier people cost less and are more productive.” On a deeper level, he went on to say, “Chicago Lives Healthy is about making a difference in people’s lives. It’s about giving people the support they need and information they need to live more productive lives.” To hear more of what Cigarran and other speakers like Cubs legend Ernie Banks said, you can watch the video of the press conference online.

[yframe url='http://player.vimeo.com/video/46629498']

The city of Chicago also shared a press release on Friday with more details about the program. Together with the press conference, it garnered the attention of several news outlets. In the press release, Ben R. Leedle, Jr., president and chief executive officer of Healthways shared, “The program’s visionary and groundbreaking initiatives, led by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, will propel the city and its employees to even greater heights.”

While Chicago will see the direct impact of this program in the short and long term, it’s exciting to think about a potential ripple effect it could have across the nation (or world) as other governments take notice of the example Chicago sets. Working together toward improved well-being, we can be healthier and happier—not just in terms of our physical health, but also our financial health.

To learn more about how Healthways supports populations, visit our capabilities page.

Topics: Financial Well-Being In the News Events Government