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Workplace Wellness at NPAIHB

Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board promotes workplace wellness.
Workplace Wellness at NPAIHB

Photo courtesy of NPAIHB

Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board promotes workplace wellness.

December 10, 2013

Those of us who sit at desks for most of the workday have reason to be alarmed by growing evidence that shows that a sedentary lifestyle is a deadly one. Researchers have identified that extended sitting is linked to diabetes and other chronic illnesses. In response, some forward-thinking employers have begun to make changes in the workplace to help their workers decrease the amount of time they sit at workstations.

The Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board is an organization that is proactively working to help employees bring healthy living into the workday. Each employee of NPAIHB receives 30 paid minutes of wellness time per day. This time can be used for exercise or for other wellness activities. If employees choose to combine their wellness time with their 30 minutes of lunch time, they have a full hour each workday they can use to improve their health. Group workouts at NPAIHB are available three to four times a week so that employees can run, walk, climb stairs, and do CrossFit together.

NPAIHB Wellness Committee members plan these workouts, as well as educate staff about wellness events happening in the community. Lunchtime health seminars are also available in collaboration with the Native American Research Center for Health.

In addition to these activities, the Board has recently purchased three treadmill desks that are available for all employees to use. Employees bring their laptops to these workstations and work while they move.

Rachel Ford, MPH, Public Health Improvement Manager, says, “NPAIHB is progressive in their approach to workplace wellness, not only in granting employees 30 minutes per day of paid wellness time, but also in offering ergonomic work stations, flexible work schedules, and new technology like the treadmill desks.”

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