Worksite wellness seeks to support the health of employees by creating long term, sustainable changes that make it easier to be healthy at work. North Country SHIP organized a worksite wellness collaborative in Beltrami County for local business and organizations. The collaborative first met in August 2017, with 14 businesses participating, including Kelliher School District.
“It’s important to us for a few reasons,” said Tim Lutz, Kelliher School Superintendent. “First, we can be more productive in what we do as educators. Secondly, there are cost saving measures such as fewer lost workdays, fewer substitute teachers and lower health insurance costs.”
Some of the wellness initiatives, supported by SHIP, include a new, glass-front refrigerator filled with healthy snacks.
Cynthia Celander, Kelliher School Counselor, said, “I am busy so much of the day, I appreciate being able to pick out healthy snacks such as a hardboiled egg or cheese stick to hold me over until dinner.” The school took healthy eating a step further, hosting a course in healthy cooking, nutrition and recipes.
“It was fun to try the new recipes, but the most fun was doing something fun and relaxing with co-workers,” added Celander. The district also saw an opportunity to support employees in their efforts to get more active by offering weekly Yoga classes in the evening.
“We as educators have to model what we preach to kids,” Lutz said. “Our mission is: promoting and supporting choices, which lead to healthy lifestyles. We as adults are trying to eat healthy items and stay physically active to set the tone for the students,” he said.