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Active Voice: Exercise is Medicine® in the Workplace — Opportunities for Effective Interventions

from By Delia Roberts, Ph.D., FACSM

Viewpoints presented in SMB commentaries reflect opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect positions or policies of ACSM.

Delia Roberts, Ph.D., FACSM, is a Professor in the School of Arts and Sciences at Selkirk College in Castlegar, British Columbia, and president of FitSafe Solutions, Inc. Her research is focused on sport science based nutrition and physical activity intervention programs for worksite health and injury prevention.

Integrated workplace health and safety is an emerging field which provides unique opportunities to promote healthy living in target populations. More than 150 million Americans go to work every day, and, since attendance is a mandatory condition of employment, the audience is guaranteed. There are few other venues that present such excellent opportunities for healthy lifestyle training.

Nico Pronk and HealthPartners Research Foundation have demonstrated repeatedly that the costs associated with implementing a workplace health promotion program are easily recovered through reduced medical expenditures, decreased absenteeism, higher productivity and lowered health risks for participants. This provides for another unique and positive aspect of research in integrated workplace health and safety – it pays for itself. Furthermore, the workers carry the information home and share it with their families and friends, increasing the impact of the program well beyond the worksite doors. For more information on the cost effectiveness and other benefits of these programs, see ACSM’s Worksite Health Handbook. more

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