Healthy and Active

2014

Issue link: https://www.topsnews.org/i/189780

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Wellness at Work Too Busy for Weight-Loss Support? Get It on the Job. By N. Marie Dries Some truths are hard—even dangerous— to ignore. One such truth is that North Americans are getting larger every year. Recent reports from both U.S. and Canadian health agencies track an alarming upward trend in weight gain among adults. Cases of obesity-related illness, including heart disease, diabetes and certain kinds of cancer, are also on the rise. More and more people are talking with colleagues in cafeterias, business offices and over watercoolers about how they want to— need to—lose weight and live healthier, more balanced lives. Many employers now offer onsite wellness programs to help curb rising costs associated with an overweight workforce, including lost productivity, absenteeism and climbing healthcare expenses. TOPS has been at the forefront of such efforts. From professional and healthcare 64 HEALTHY & ACTIVE 2014 organizations, to manufacturing facilities, to schools and nonprofits, to government offices TOPS workplace chapters are crop— ping up throughout the United States and Canada. Like regular chapters, TOPS workplace chapters are dedicated to supporting individual members as they lose weight—only the members are also co-workers who share the journey together. "Many adults spend the majority of their time at work, so reaching them there makes sense," explains Maggie Thorison, wellness manager at TOPS. (See the sidebar on the next page for more about Thorison.) Real People Take the TOPS WI 1536 Beloit chapter, for instance. After first learning about TOPS at a wellness conference, Kelly Jenkins, wellness coordinator for the School District of Beloit, in

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