GV hopes to increase ‘Healthy Choices’

Courtesy Photo / gvsu.edu
Lindsey DesArmo, coordinator for Health and Fitness

Courtesy Photo / gvsu.edu Lindsey DesArmo, coordinator for Health and Fitness

Chelsea Stoskopf

111Starting today, faculty and staff will be able to sign up for the yearlong Healthy Choices Program provided by the university. The program is comprised of wellness activities and a Know Your Numbers program. Wellness activities include on-campus group fitness classes, Weight Watchers at work, healthy cooking demos and reimbursements for the tobacco cessation program.

Health and Wellness coordinator Lindsey DesArmo said the Know Your Numbers program lets faculty and staff take a clinical health risk assessment, have their blood drawn and fill out a health questionnaire. The information obtained will help employees know their risk level and how to improve to a lower risk area. Know Your Numbers will run from today until Jan. 28.

“The Know Your Numbers, which is one of the main components of it, has been successful in gaining popularity within the past few years and now this is just encompassing that,” said Michelle Carpenter, Health and Wellness marketing intern.

DesArmo also said in the past two years this program has run, those who took the clinical health risk assessment and scored in the high risk assessment area, have been seen to improve into a moderate or low risk area.

“That was good to see that individuals who are sticking with it, they’re trying to work on some of those risk factors,” she said.

Last year, about 200 faculty and staff members used the group fitness services, and about 6 percent used the employee assistance program called Encompass, which provides for emotional health such as counseling, financial and legal assistance and childcare services.

“We want people to use these services to get the help that they need,” DesArmo said. “Our goal is to have 50-percent participation in the Know Your Numbers program, and the Healthy Choices Program as well.”

This year, faculty and staff will be able to enter to win four quarterly and two annual prize drawings for completing the program. The quarterly prizes consist of $100, and employees must be actively participating in two wellness activities. The annual prize is $1,500 if employees do both the clinical health risk assessment and quarterly activities until Nov. 30.

“If we have faculty and staff who are operating at their best, that is going to benefit the students here at Grand Valley,” said Sue Sloop, work-life consultant and co-coordinator on the program. “It will also benefit them in their personal lives and benefit them in their overall healthy behaviors, and that carries over to every part of a person’s life.”

Sloop said the Healthy Choices program was designed to provide flexibility to choose health and wellness topics that might be specific to an individual’s needs and interests. She said she hopes this will provide employees with an array of opportunities to support and encourage healthy lifestyle behaviors.

“I think that Grand Valley has been really supportive of trying to create and develop a wellness culture, and this is just another tool that faculty and staff can use if they have their own goals or to maintain their health,” Desarmo said.

For more information or to register for the Know Your Numbers and Healthy Choices programs, visit www.gvsu.edu/healthwellness.

To track your quarterly wellness activities online, go to www.umr.com.

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