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Worksite Wellness for Tompkins County
Worksite environments that support good nutrition and regular physical activity

Worksite Wellness

Healthy Living

HHW Heart Check

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Tompkins County Health Department

Tompkins County Home Page

New York State Department of Health

The Health Promotion Program, Tompkins County (NY) Health Department, developed and maintains this web site. (more...)

Steps for Starting a Worksite Wellness Program 


  • Identify an inside advocate to act as coordinator
  • Secure support of top managers / officers
  • Form a wellness committee
  • Formal survey of employees' needs / interests
  • Set goals for your wellness program
  • Set objectives for your wellness program
  • Identify an inside advocate to act as coordinator

    This may be you, or you may be looking for someone. Whoever it is, this person should

  • be committed to the value of good nutrition and physical activity as a lifestyle. (That does not mean living perfection, but rather a goal to work towards.)
  • be interested in talking to others about wellness in a effort to build interest and participation.

  • Secure support of top managers / officers

    This may be you, in which case you may already be fully supportive. However, if you're the advocate (or an uncertain top manager) it is important to know how a business will benefit from worksite wellness programs.

  • Visit "Dollars and Sense: Bottomline benefits of worksite wellness" for cost analysis.
  • For facts about our population's general state of wellness, go to "The Concept of Wellness."
  • Look over pages in the "Healthy Living " section of this site for additional information and ideas.

  • Form a wellness committee

    This is so critical that no wellness program should be attempted without a committee. A wellness committee, drawing members from different work areas within the organization, establishes continuity, motivation, and broad ownership of the program.

    Anywhere from 4 to 10 people meeting monthly equals a wellness committee. A mission statement for the committee should be developed by the second meeting. This way, everyone knows what the committee is working toward. To give you an idea of what a wellness committee does, minutes from a local worksite have been posted. Click here to review them.

    Once a wellness program has been established the committee's size and meeting schedule may change. Still, no fewer than 4 members should meet at least quarterly so the group --- and the wellness program --- does not fade away.

    Formal survey of employees' needs / interests

    "Bottom-up" support is just as critical to the success of your program as is "top-down" support. Ask employees what they're interested in, and what needs they have. Remember that fundementally, a wellness program is behavioral change. People are much more willing to change if they are involved in the change process. (Go to sample surveys)

    Set goals for your wellness program

    (outcomes and expectations)

    A wellness program should have a destination. Use the results of your survey and your wellness committee's mission statement as guides. Consider these ideas:

  • focus on making information and learning resources available
  • focus on group activities so employees work together to support and encourage healthier lifestyles
  • develop a wellness program that is visible to both employees and to our customers
  • focus on written policies and guidelines

  • Set objectives for your wellness program

    (activities and programs)

    This is the action part...

    Go to examples

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     Related Topics 

    Foundations of a Wellness Program:
    Cultural Change
    Environmental Change
    Stages of Change

    Supporting information:
    Show me the problem
    Bottomline $$
    Surveying employee interest
    In the news

    How WWTC Works:
    Suggested outline for WWTC worksites
    Program FAQ