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Bloomington named fit-friendly workplace


By Jessica Campbell




Julie Ramey, community relations manager of the city’s parks and recreation department, said people do not have to be a marathon runner or a body lifter to be healthy.

You just have to be active.

A vigorous hiking enthusiast, Ramey treks the local trails of Monroe County everyday, rain or shine.

This attitude embraces the goals of Bloomington’s Be Active program, which received an honorable mention in the American Heart Association ShapeUp Social Wellness Award.

On Oct. 26, the city was recognized as a platinum fit-friendly worksite by the AHA for the third consecutive year.

“I have read and seen things like, ‘bodies in motion stay in motion,’” Ramey said. “You cant just sit on the couch and expect technology and doctors to do it for you.”

For her lively and healthy lifestyle, Ramey was spotlighted in the City of Bloomington’s program for promoting a fit and healthy workplace.

With monthly newsletters and health fairs, the city officials encourages its employees to engage in healthy activities to promote and sustain a positive work environment, said Lindsay Buuck, health and wellness coordinator.

“We have an employee from every department participating in the wellness program,” Buuck said. “There are 86 employees in the Start! Walking Program and a we give out a ‘traveling trophy’ for the person who walks the most in a month.”

The City of Bloomington provides endless information on helpful health tips, encourages ‘walking meetings’ and allows stress breaks, Buuck said.

A fit-friendly worksite, the AHA grants a collection of resources for the city’s employees, according to the press release.

“Our employees receive free health coaching, annual health fairs and free screening tests for cholesterol, BMI and blood pressure levels,” Buuck said.

The AHA awards companies either the platinum or gold recognition based on efforts of improving the wellness outlook of the employees, she said.

“The platinum award has a lot to do with benefits and health care and the gold is more to do with programming,” Buuck said.

Because of the city’s improvements on less absentees, more returns on investments and larger growth on returns for programs such as Weightwatchers for employees and the city was awarded the platinum award, Buuck said.

Buuck said for the past three years, Bloomington has been awarded the platinum fit-friendly award for its commitment to active and healthy activities in the workplace.
Within the workplace of Bloomington, the employees are recognized each month for their improvements and active lifestyles.

“We like to spotlight an employee every month on an activity they are doing,” Buuck said.

In the November spotlight, Ramey said her active lifestyle is because of her 96-year-old grandmother.

“She was active her entire life,” she said. “Her active lifestyle affects her longevity. It (being active) is our own cheap form of preventing maintenance.”

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