At A Glance
The South Dakota Department of Health (DOH) partnered with a coalition of statewide organizations to promote and increase access to workplace wellness programs. Employers across the state were provided trainings and resources to help set up worksite wellness policies that support healthy work environments. With support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 18 worksites made improvements that now encourage physical activity during the work day. These changes benefit more than 2,800 employees in South Dakota.
Public Health Challenge
Working adults spend a significant amount of time at the workplace. Often, much of that time is spent physically inactive. Inactive adults have a higher risk for early death, heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression, and some cancers. In 2014, South Dakota had a 30% obesity rate among residents and an additional 35% were overweight, according to Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance (BRFSS) data. Because a majority of adults spend much of their time at work, worksite wellness programs have the potential to influence health and prevent disease.
DOH worked with partners to provide employers (e.g., trucking, law enforcement, insurance) across the state with educational resources and trainings on worksite wellness strategies. The health department shared two key resources with employers—CDC’s Steps to Wellness: A Guide to Implementing the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans in the Workplace Toolkit and South Dakota’s Model Worksite Physical Activity Policy. Both resources provide a framework for creating a worksite culture that supports health, and encourages employees to be more active during the work day. Guidance includes allowing employees time for physical activity during the work day and allowing flexible work schedules.