County approves wellness program for county employees
A “lunch and learn” wellness program for county employees and others who want to attend will be offered in coming months.
The program is the idea of Gayla Ratzlaff, coordinator of the county department on aging, Diedre Serene, health department administrator, and Renae Riedy, extension agent.
Ratzlaff talked to commissioners about why sitting is bad for workers. It raises the risk of depression, increases the odds of low bone density and sluggish metabolism, and leads to poor posture. It’s better for workers to take a break from sitting at a computer and walk around. Walking also makes the brain more active, which improves memory, Ratzlaff said.
Serene said they have in mind to serve participants a healthy lunch and send home the recipes so they can feed their families healthy meals as well.
Ratzlaff said 80 percent of health costs are from preventable illnesses, and the county might save money on insurance if employees take part in the program.
Ratzlaff said she’d like the county to sponsor $2 toward each employee lunch and the employees to pay $2. She also asked that employees be paid for the half hour of work they miss because of the hour-and-a-half lunch program.
Commissioners were pleased with the idea, but questioned whether everyone would be able to participate. Road and bridge employees might not be able to attend if they are too far away, commissioner Randy Dallke said.
Commissioner Lori Lalouette said she’d like to try it and see if employees are interested.
Commissioner Dan Holub said he’d like to see the program be open to the public at no cost to the county.
Commissioners voted unanimously to try the program for six months.
In other business, commissioners signed an amended agreement with the Pictometry company moving forward the date an aerial photography project will be completed, and heard routine updates from Bud Druse, director of noxious weed and hazardous waste department, and Emma Tajchman, director of planning and zoning.
Last modified Oct. 26, 2016