Clarksville, TN – In true “walk the talk” fashion, the Clarksville Parks and Recreation Department is demonstrating the city’s commitment to building a healthier and more successful community.
The Governor’s Foundation for Health and Wellness recently named the department a Healthier Tennessee Workplace for encouraging employees to live a healthy lifestyle – both at work and at home.For the city, the drive for community health and fitness starts with great facilities and programs for citizens. Clarksville’s parks, recreation centers, numerous free and low-cost activities, and creation of the Mayor’s Fitness Council all underscore city government’s focus on better health.
Support for that goal also is exemplified by city programs designed to create a healthier and more productive workforce.
“We’re serious about creating a healthier community,” Clarksville Mayor Kim McMillan said. “For me, that means gearing up at City Hall, where we’ve set a good example with workplace programs that encourage better health and fitness for all of our employees.”
For example, the city has installed a wellness plan as part of its health insurance benefits that provides incentives for workers to complete a health risk assessment and then take steps to reach and maintain key health benchmarks. The city also provides an in-house health clinic and a fitness center, and ensures a tobacco-free work environment.
At Clarksville Parks and Recreation, those healthy values are put into practice with a passion befitting a staff dedicated to fitness and fun. For example, the parks staff removed soda machines from employee areas; uses staff donations to purchase healthy snacks; and conducts monthly fitness challenges for staff, using city parks and facilities.
“Since the inception of the program in our department, employees have collectively lost more than 150 pounds and one employee has been taken off their cholesterol medicine,” said Jennifer Byard, Clarksville Parks and Recreation interim director. “We now have monthly challenges revolved around healthy habits and it’s even brought us closer together as a team. We’re proud to be the first parks and recreation department in Tennessee to achieve this certification.”
To become a Healthier Tennessee Workplace, Clarksville Parks and Recreation certified that it has a wellness program in place that:
- Encourages and enables physical activity in the workplace.
- Offers healthy eating options at work.
- Provides a tobacco-free environment and help with tobacco cessation.
- Encourages and enables employees to monitor their own health through regular health risk screenings.
- Rewards employees for participating in wellness activities and achieving health improvements.
“Clarksville’s Parks and Recreation Department has created a culture of wellness that encourages employees to be healthier and more satisfied with their jobs. It’s good for business, and it’s good for Tennessee,” said Richard Johnson, president and chief executive officer of the Governor’s Foundation for Health and Wellness.
The foundation, a non-profit corporation, brings together employers, insurers, hospitals, governments, schools and health organizations to promote better health for Tennesseans. More is available online at www.healthiertn.com/workplace