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 SDCOE Initiative Recognized by American Heart Association

​​According to figures provided by Kaiser in January 2012, 69.9% of San Diego County Office of Education employees are overweight or obese, 45.06% have borderline or high cholesterol, and 13.4 % have poorly controlled blood pressure. These are striking figures, especially when you consider that 91% of diabetes, 82% of heart disease, 70% of strokes and 71% of cancers are caused by poor lifestyle and health decisions.

“If an employee or a family member is not well, it carries over into the workplace,” said Diane Herrera, who, through the EDGE program, coordinates the Total Wellness @ Work Initiative. “We want to help employees and their families lead a healthier lifestyle by providing learning opportunities and support. Healthy employees are better employees.”

Wellness efforts are being recognized internally, as participation in Total Wellness @ Work offerings grows, and also by external groups. The San Diego County Office of Education was recently recognized as a Gold Level Recipient of the American Heart Association’s Fit-Friendly Worksites Recognition program for:

• Offering employees physical activity support.
• Providing/increasing healthy eating options at the worksite.
• Promoting a wellness culture.
• Implementing at least nine criteria as outlined by the American Heart Association in the areas of physical activity, nutrition and culture.

“We are extremely honored and excited to be recognized by the American Heart Association’s My Heart. My Life. initiative as a Gold Level Fit-Friendly Worksite,” said Herrera. “Physical activity and employee wellness are very important priorities here at SDCOE, which is why our EDGE offerings include them as well as professionally-focused trainings.”

Recent initiatives include VEBA Challenges, Health Risk Assessments, Biometric Screenings, and classroom sessions such as “Moods & Foods,” “Holiday Stress Management,” and “Raising a Healthy Child in a Fast Food World.” In January, EDGE offered Smart Living, a three-day event that focused on things people often make resolutions about: financial health (taxes, budgeting, credit), and technology (building your personal website, using your Apple device, identity theft protection, online predators). Other activities include Wellness Week (this year’s is May 28-31), after work exercise classes, and Weight Watchers.