Nutley Township employees are asked to take the lead in improving fitness during Global Employee Health and Fitness Month in May.
“If we’re taking a break at lunch, we’re encouraging town employees to exercise as part of that break,” said Loren McCreesh. She is helping coordinate the plan as an employee of the Department of Public Affairs.
Speaking at the Nutley Board of Commissioners meeting on April 17, McCreesh encouraged the elected officials, township employees, teachers, school district staff and local businesses to recognize this wellness initiative.
May is set aside for special wellness initiatives in the workplace that promote healthy living, she said.
“Recognizing this designation is a natural progression for our Township,” said Commissioner Thomas Evans in a separate statement. “We (the Township) have really been forward thinkers when it comes to wellness and this month we will work hard to promote this important initiative, emphasizing all the benefits of healthy living.”
The idea comes from the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services out of Washington, D.C., officials said.
More than one third of adults are obese in the United States, according to information provided to Nutley by the Centers for Disease Control. In fact, in a 2010 obesity study conducted by the CDC, no one state has an obesity rate lower than 20 percent. New Jersey has an obesity rate of 31.3 percent, the CDC said.
CDC officials said that by committing to living a healthy lifestyle, by reducing sugar, fat and caloric intake, and increasing physical activity, people will not only lose weight and body fat, but will also reduce the risk for heart disease and diabetes.
A resolution will be read at the May 1 Commission meeting recognizing Global Employee Health & Fitness Month. Information packets will be distributed to each of the five department Directors that include nutrition and exercise suggestions that can be conducted each week in May. Town employees can access all information through a computer program known as the employee portal, McCreesh said.
Voluntary activities are organized for town employees, local school teachers and Board of Education staff, along with Nutley Chamber of Commerce business members. One activity is the “Lunch and Learn Programs,” where people are taught about healthy eating, courtesy of Mountainside Hospital and Barnabas Health Clara Maass Medical Center.
Other programs are exercise opportunities courtesy of Krank Systems of Nutley, on May 15 at 7 p.m. and one exercise opportunity at the Meadowlands Area YMCA on May 29 at 6:30 p.m.
Local businesses are invited to encourage employees to have a healthy lunch, walk to work or walk on their lunch break, Evans said.
For more information about this health initiative and scheduled activities, contact the Department of Public Affairs at 973-284-4976.