Thursday, December 30, 2010

How to Map Walking/Running/Biking Routes

Terry posted a link to the Iowa Girl Eats blog on our Inside Workplace Wellness Facebook Page today. It's quiet in the office, so I took a few minutes to poke around and discovered the post 3 Free Web Tools You Should Be Using! Number one was to plot your run/walk/bike route using the Loops tool at I went in and plotted a walk around the block from our office.

It was easy to plot the route and it showed me the change in elevation and a summary of the route -- 1.33 miles. I have been wanting to plot several routes from our office for people to use when they walk and run. I've even thought about having them printed on little cards like I've seen at hotels. It looks like I have a tool to get this done now. I guess I'll add that to my list for 2011.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Screenings for LOST @ASHA

After we completed our Biggest Loser program last year, we took note of what we would do differently next time. One item on the list was to simplify the assessments. During our Biggest Loser program, we did a couple of fasting blood draws to measure cholesterol and blood glucose and physical fitness assessments. During this program we will keep it simple and measure the following:
  • weight,
  • blood pressure,
  • waist to hip ratio and circumference, 
  • BMI,
  • body fat breaking out essential body fat, reserve body fat and excess body fat.
We'll use the tool we developed last year to calculate the various body fat measures. Cyndi Fales from Lifework Strategies and our intern last summer, Diana Levin, described the tool in this post.
Today, we are shopping for a new scale. That was another lesson learned the hard way from our last program. We want a simple digital model with a maximum weight capacity of 400 pounds.

This will also keep our costs down. The lab work alone last time cost us approximately $7,000 at $35 per blood draw and it was difficult to reschedule for people that missed the planned assessments.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


We're Kicking off our 2nd annual weight management program. Staff can sign up through January 7, 2011. Our Wellness Advisory Team put together this flier announcing the program. (Thanks Melanie!)

Hopefully we'll be able to help people make some changes that will improve their health over the long term, but even if we just help folks knock off the extra pounds they gained over the holidays it's worthwhile. Those pounds compounded from year to year can really add up.

Today Terry is working on developing charts to track each team's weight loss. We're using what they do on Thintervention as a model. So, we'll be recording pounds lost each week instead of weight like we did last year during our Biggest Loser program.

I'm looking forward to seeing if participation is as high as it was in our Biggest Loser program last year.

Lost Flier

Thursday, December 16, 2010

My Wellness Wish List

I have been thinking about our wellness program goals for 2011. My wish list includes:
  1. Individual coaching to help our staff members and their families coordinate prescription medications and take their medications correctly
  2. Robust disease education and management program
  3. Seamless data sharing between Lifework Strategies, our wellness partners, and United Healthcare, our health insurance company
  4. Visit from the mammogram van
  5. Wall mounted iPhone/iPod speakers for our exercise room
  6. TRX Suspension Training Class
If you have other suggestions, or if you think you can help us make any of these things happen, please get in touch with me.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Preview of Our Next Weight Loss Program

Our plans for our next weight loss program are starting to take shape. We will kick it off in January and hope to help people reach their new year's weight loss resolutions. We've tried to keep the best of the Biggest Loser program we ran last year and change it up a bit to keep it interesting and address lessons learned. The next step is to get some feedback from our Wellness Advisory Team and ask them to help us come up with a name. If you have an idea for a name for our campaign, please share it below. 

These are my notes. (I apologize to all you linear thinkers ;-)

Thanks to Terry Harris, my linear thinking partner in HR, Cyndi Fales from Lifework Strategies and all the members of our Wellness Advisory Team for sharing your great ideas.