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Championing Worksite Wellness in Green Bay: Using Evidence-Based Recommendations to Improve Employee Health
The City of Green Bay’s employee wellness program, Health|1265, used a combination of strategies including Move with the Mayor™, which is based on CPSTF recommendations, to support and improve employee health. As a result, the City of Green Bay’s employees have taken nearly 700 million steps together and the city has saved $1M and experienced a 30% decrease in employee hospitalization. Green Bay’s Mayor Genrich is working to spread the success of Health|1265 program to the entire city using CPSTF recommendations for built environments and active travel to school. (Released 2020)
- Leadership Matters. Programs like Move with the Mayor™ demonstrate leadership commitment to taking charge of one’s health and finding ways to make a difference, like walking at work.
- Context and Timing Matter. Program coordinators maximize employee engagement by working with different departments and being flexible with event timing. The program has been able to accommodate all eligible employees, including those who drive trucks, those who are out on their feet, and those who sit at desks.
- Engaging employees in the planning process increases involvement. Health|1265 uses feedback from program participants to focus resources on topics of interest.
- Make it Fun! Health|1265 offers a range of exciting activities to keep program participants engaged. These include friendly competitions and challenges, partnerships with the Green Bay Packers to provide tickets to their home games, and opportunities for face-to-face interactions with the mayor.
The City of Green Bay, known for its winning football team, has found similar success with its city-wide health promotion program. Compared to adults in the United States and Wisconsin, a larger percentage of City of Green Bay employees maintain a healthy body weight, keep their blood pressure and blood sugar at recommended levels and avoid using tobacco.1
How did the City of Green Bay achieve these results? Through Health|1265 and the use of evidence-based strategies and recommendations, such as those in The Community Guide. Named for the home of the Green Bay Packers (1265 Lombardi Avenue), Health|1265 is a city-wide health promotion program that uses multiple activities and events, including the National Forum for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention’s Move with the Mayor™ initiative, to help city employees engage in their own health and well-being.
In 2015, the Green Bay Mayor’s office implemented Move with the Mayor™—which is based on the Community Preventive Services Task Force (CPSTF) recommendation for social support programs to increase physical activity. The year following, they launched Health|1265 for their city employees. Within three years, more than 400 employees enrolled in the program, and the City reduced employee hospitalizations by more than 30%, saved $1M in healthcare costs, and averaged 183 minutes per employee of moderate-intensity aerobic activity weekly.2
All About Health|1265
Health|1265 uses a four-pronged approach that focuses on activity, awareness, healthy choices, and prevention. The program combines employee health risk assessments with incentives and education—an intervention approach recommended by the CPSTF to improve workers’ health. Employees participating in Health|1265 earn rewards through a point system and may be eligible for financial incentives and other rewards including gift cards and tickets to Green Bay Packer football games. Employees who complete a health risk assessment and earn 1265 points in a year can reduce their health insurance premiums from 15% to 11.5% the following year.
During an eight month period, the City of Green Bay’s employees took nearly 700 million steps together thanks to Health|1265 and Move with the Mayor™.1 Needless to say, program coordinators and Mayor Genrich stepped into the program’s fourth year with excitement for the continued success that is to come. Mayor Genrich plans to work with partners to spread the success of the Health|1265 program to the entire City of Green Bay. The City plans to use the CPSTF recommendation for combined built environment approaches to make Green Bay more pedestrian and bike friendly. They also aim to encourage physical activity in youth and families through active travel to school interventions.
1 National Forum for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention. Healthy Green Bay: How Green Bay, Wisconsin’s Mayor Eric Genrich is continuing a culture of health. Washington (DC); 2020. URL: https://greenbaywi.gov/DocumentCenter/View/3393/Move-with-the-Mayor-Info-graphic-PDF?bidId=; Accessed March 13,2020.
2 Amber Van Allen and Shelby Hearley, City of Green Bay. (Personal communication). October 3, 2019.