5 Simple Steps your Company can take to
Join the Fight to Reduce Childhood Obesity
Let’s Move! is an initiative started by the First Lady, Michelle Obama, to solve the problem of childhood obesity within a generation. Through strategic policies and programs, it engages a variety of stakeholders such as businesses, health care providers, chefs, athletes and schools to improve the health of our children.
- One out of six kids is obese – triple the rate since 1980.
- Diabetes has more than doubled in teenagers from 9% to 23% in from 1999-2008.
- Today’s children maybe the first generation to have a shorter life expectancy then their parents.
Let’s Move! Silicon Valley Businesses has a unique and critical role to play in ending childhood obesity and addressing related issues of hunger. A family’s nutrition and physical activity is often determined by busy, working parents. They spend a large portion of their day at work, making it an ideal place to teach them about their health and the health of their kids.
Research shows that businesses which focused on improving the health of employees were more successful in reducing workman’s compensation claims and health care costs while increasing productivity, employee retention, and employee morale. Thus, many businesses have been starting or improving wellness and prevention programs to employees.
Participation in Let’s Move! Silicon Valley Businesses will help companies make workplace wellness programs more inclusive of the children of employees who are often covered under an employer’s health plan.
The Silicon Valley Leadership Group and the Santa Clara County Public Health Department will work individually with businesses to assess their offerings and provide support in implementing changes or new benefits.
Step 1: Become a Let's Move Silicon Valley Business
Become a Let’s Move! Silicon Valley Business by implementing at least one significant action in each of the following four areas:
Step 2: Helping parents make health family choices
Step 3: Creating company policies and a culture of health that includes children
Step 4: Increasing physical activity
Step 5: Improve access to healthy, affordable foods
Step 2: Helping Parents Make Healthy Family Choices
- Provide employees information targeted to healthy eating and being physically active for the family on an ongoing basis (monthly or more frequently)
- Encourage employees and their families to start a healthy lifestyle by tracking healthy behaviors that includes individual tracking for children.
- Provide Health Risk Assessments for employees and their children that will identify high health risks and address issues with follow-up counseling, classes, and incentive programs to address health needs.
- Offer family focused nutrition classes, weight loss support group programs, and/or food purchasing classes.
- Develop and sponsor a healthy food promotional campaign and/or Rethink Your Drink Campaign that will encourage employees and their families to choose healthy beverages.
- Provide a list of educational materials and/or online resources that promotes healthy eating for employees and their families on a monthly basis. Provide incentives for employees and their families who actively participate in a life-style change.
- Partner and create a list of community organizations/businesses that provide access to healthy activities. Encourage employees and their families to actively participate.
- Provide employees and their families a list of monthly and/or weekly Health Observances and Healthcare Recognition Dates. Encourage them to actively participate.
Step 3: Creating Company Policies and a Culture of Health Including Children
- Offer incentives to engage employees in healthy behaviors with their families. These incentives may include days off, monetary incentives, and incentives tied to insurance premiums
- Encourage employees and their families to actively participate in school sponsored walk-a-thons and/or health-runs/walks. Sponsor or provide incentives to families for participation.
- Encourage employees and their families to actively participate in Health Observance months and/or weeks. Track their progress and provide incentives for active participation.
- Engage in Safe Routes to School programs and encourage more children to safely walk and bike to school by allowing employees to take the time to participate within their work schedules.
- Encourage employees with children in local schools to participate in School Health Committees and have an active voice on a healthy school environment. Provide incentives for employees that actively participate.
- Partner with your local food banks to support a local Backpack Program to provide hungry children with healthy food.
- Promote and encourage breastfeeding mothers by establishing a clean private lactation room with staff. Provide an electrical outlet to pump breast milk and/or breastfeed babies.
- Promote smoke-free work and home environments and/or expand smoke free perimeters.
- Promote local community organizations that provide access to healthy activities and food.
Step 4: Increasing Physical Activity
- Conduct a Fitness Challenge that incorporates the whole family, monitors goals and provides incentives for employees that participate.
- Encourage employees to participate in physical activity outside the workplace with their families. Provide examples, structure programs and/or create tracking systems.
- Sponsor a team made up of employees and their children for a nonprofit walk and/or run in the community.
- Subsidize activities for the whole family or provide family memberships to offsite recreation, fitness facilities, personal training, gym membership, etc.
- Give away, subsidize or promote fitness/recreation equipment for the home or for children.
- Encourage physical activity through participation in the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award challenge (www.presidentschallenge.org).
Step 5: Improving Access to Healthy, Affordable Foods
- Partner with a local farmers market to sell produce weekly onsite for your individual company/building/office area.
- Promote local farmers markets by advertising locations and hours.
- Work with local farmers markets to subsidize or provide bonus credits to employees ($5 credit or $1.25 credit for every $1).
- Connect employees to programs and resources that help families create home gardens such as Valley Verde (www.valleyverde.org).
- Plant a worksite ground or rooftop garden.
- Support a school or community garden with leadership and sponsorship.
- Provide monthly, healthy recipes for employees and their families. Encourage them to actively engage in healthy cooking. Provide incentives for active participation.
- Collaborate with local agencies and/or restaurants to provide healthy cooking demonstrations at the worksite for employees and their families with a focus on children’s needs.
- Start or maintain a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Club at work.
- Identify and promote healthy food options at local eateries near the worksite for employees and their families.
- Actively promote participation in existing programs for employees and families in need at your worksite.
For more information regarding Let’s Move! Silicon Valley Businesses, contact Emily Lam at email@example.com.
Learn more information about First Lady Michelle Obama’s movement by visiting: www.letsmove.gov