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
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
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