Tag Archives: healthy eating

American Heart Month Feature

ucm_465189Heart disease is the leading cause of death in Maryland, accounting for 25% of all deaths. Sadly, in St. Mary’s County our numbers are even higher than state averages.

The good news?

Heart disease can often be prevented when people make healthy choices and manage their health conditions. Through lifestyle changes like smoking cessation, healthy eating, exercise, and managing diabetes, blood pressure and stress, you can greatly reduce your chance of heart disease.

This year, make control your goal!

Use the resources below to help you control your diabetes, blood pressure or other habits that increase your risk.

Smoking Cessation


Healthy Eating


Physical Activity


Managing Diabetes


Controlling Blood Pressure

Breastfeeding Feature

Guest Contributor: Angela Deal, Healthiest Maryland Businesses Healthiest Maryland Logo

 

Angela is the Regional Coordinator (Charles, Calvert, & St. Mary’s) for Healthiest Maryland Businesses (HMB). HMB is a partner organization of the Healthy St. Mary’s Partnership and provides assistance to local businesses that want to create a healthier workplace for their employees.
Click here for information on HMB and more healthy workplace initiatives!

August is World Breastfeeding Month!

 

Why offer support for breastfeeding in the workplace?

According to the CDC’s Guide to Strategies to Support Breastfeeding Mothers and Babies, mothers are one of the fastest growing segments of the U.S. labor force. In 2012, 57% of all mothers with infants were employed. Working full-time outside the home is related to lower rates of breastfeeding and shorter duration of breastfeeding. This is unfortunate, because breastfeeding has many benefits for mothers, babies-and employers.

Research shows that support for nursing moms at work benefits not only families but employers as well by improving productivity, enhancing the employer’s public image and decreasing absenteeism, health care costs, and employee turnover.

How can your business support breastfeeding mothers?

Make your business breastfeeding-friendly by offering some of these employee benefits and services:
  • Develop a corporate policy to support breastfeeding women.
  • Provide a designated private space for women to breastfeed or express milk.
  • Allow flexible scheduling to support milk expression during work.
  • Offer mothers options for returning to work, such as teleworking, part-time work, or extended maternity leave.
  • Provide on-site or nearby child care.
  • Provide a high-quality, multi-user breast pump
  • Allow babies at the workplace.
  • Offer professional lactation management services and support.

Factors to Consider When Setting Up a Workplace Lactation Program

  • Population: The number of women who need support, the resources available, and the settings in which female employees work.
  • Space: A lactation room can take many forms, from a converted office or private space to a formal nursing mothers’ room. This space cannot be a bathroom.
  • Time: Employers can use many different strategies to make sure mothers have enough time to breastfeed or express milk. Examples include flexible work schedules and locations, break times for pumping, on-site child care services, and job sharing.
  • Support: Educating all employees on the important benefits of breastfeeding creates a supportive atmosphere for employees who breastfeed. Involve human resources managers, employee health coordinators, insurers, and health care providers in supporting  breastfeeding  as part of an overall employee wellness program.

Need more information?

The Business Case For Breastfeeding from the Health Resources and Services Administration Program offers several resources, including tool kits and guidelines, to help employers understand the benefits of making accommodations for breastfeeding mothers.

National Business Group on Health: Investing in Workplace Breastfeeding Programs and Policies is a toolkit that covers the essential information employers need to understand the components of breastfeeding programs, getting started, and measuring success. Valuable resources include breastfeeding program options, employer case studies, and materials for employees.

The Making It Work Toolkit is an online resource for breastfeeding mothers developed by the New York State Department of Health with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children returning to work or school. The toolkit is designed to provide assistance to breastfeeding mothers, as well as tools and information for businesses and families. A helpful Checklist for Employers is included in the Making it Work: For Employers section to assist supervisors’ plans for employee lactation accommodations requests.

SPOTLIGHT ON HMBs

Joining Healthiest Maryland Businesses is free and workplaces receive many benefits for signing up including: access to training, information, consultation, technical assistance and more!

This July, three HMBs were awarded funding to support Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace initiatives – Congratulations to the Charles County Department of Health, St. Mary’s County Department of Health, and MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital! 

Keeping Kids Healthy

Healthy Kids

Healthy Kids St. Mary's CountyAt a very young age, children develop the habits and behaviors that will influence their life-long health.

Parents and caregivers play a key role in making healthy choices for children and also in teaching them to make healthy choices for themselves, which helps them grow into healthy adults!

Use the tools below to help guide your kids in making choices that will lead to healthier lives.


Tips for Healthy Eating

 Healthy kids need healthy foods!

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Myplate: Healthy Eating Resource for Parents and Professionals 

Tips for Parents: Ideas to Help Children Maintain a Healthy Weight

Southern Maryland Farmers’ Market Guide

The Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program


Get Active in St. Mary’s

Healthy kids need to get up and move!

CDC – How Much Physical Activity Do Children Need?

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Content Sources: Centers for Disease Control, ChooseMyPlate.gov, St. Mary's County Tourism, HSMP Partners

Workplace Wellness

Workplace Wellness

Your health is important wherever you go! And now that many people are spending most of their day sitting at a desk or inside an office, implementing health programs at the workplace has become vital to ensuring healthy lifestyles.  


What is Workplace Wellness?

“Workplace Wellness” is a term used to describe efforts by businesses to improve the health of its employees through use of program offerings and incentives. Working Marylanders spend an average of 9.2 hours per day at work leading to a decrease in the amount of time available for exercise and healthy eating. In part, this has led to an increase in the burden of chronic disease, much of which is preventable. Rising rates of chronic disease contribute to skyrocketing healthcare costs, which affect both employers and employees.

Workplace Wellness initiatives support employees and their families to make healthier choices so we can reduce chronic disease and our collective healthcare costs. These programs tend to focus on healthier food choices, increasing physical activity in and out of the workplace, and smoking cessation. By eating healthy, being physically active, and not smoking we can drastically reduce the human and economic toll of obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart attacks, and strokes.

A comprehensive employee health management strategy will help to prevent and control chronic disease and other conditions that are identified to be a problem for your workforce.  Preventing and controlling chronic disease improves quality of life and a company’s bottom line.

Need a Wellness Program at Your Office?

Ask your employer if they offer a wellness or health promotion program. If not, suggest implementing one at your office. One way to start is by joining Healthiest Maryland Businesses (HMB).

Healthiest Maryland Businesses are taking the first step towards creating an environment that supports healthy employees, an economic driver of your business’ fiscal health! Having a wellness program ensures that everyone wins – employees and their families are healthier, and companies save on health care costs and absenteeism.

Benefits of Joining Healthiest Maryland Businesses:

  • Consultation with certified work-site wellness personnel
  • Access to HMB e-news and training events
  • Technical assistance on how to implement policies and programs
  • Connection to evidence-based resources
  • Peer-to-peer support from neighboring businesses
  • Promotion as a member in this leading, statewide initiative

For more information, contact dhmh.healthiestmaryland@maryland.gov.

Additional Resources:

Workplace Health Promotion – CDC Toolkit

Healthiest Maryland Businesses – NEW WEBSITE!

Exercise at Your Desk – WebMD Feature

Stairwell Toolkit – Workplace Wellness Initiative


 

Content Sources: Centers for Disease Control, Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene