Workplace Wellness Fair at County Building

March 22, 2012, 3:03 PM HST · Updated March 23, 1:32 PM
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Robert Parsons, Executive Assistant to the Mayor, welcomes participants.

Robert Parsons, Executive Assistant to the Mayor, welcomes participants to last year's Wellness Fair. File photo.

By Sonia Isotov

In recognition of Workplace Wellness Week, the County of Maui, Maui District Health Office, and Maui County Nutrition and Physical Activity Coalition (NPAC) are sponsoring a Workplace Wellness Fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday, April 5 at the Kalana O Maui building located at 200 S. High Street, Wailuku.

Attendees will receive tips from health experts on how to stay healthy in the workplace – a place where many of us spend the majority of our time doing sedentary tasks. Key areas of discussion will include diet and nutrition, ergonomics, exercise incentives, health education, health screenings, and stress management.

Mayor Arakawa signs the Workplace Wellness Week proclamation on February 28. Courtesy of the County of Maui.

“The Wellness Fair will offer local employers, our County and State employees and the public at large an opportunity to learn how to combat fatigue, manage stress, and receive information on how to create or support a healthier workforce.” said Arakawa, in a written statement. Workplace Wellness Week was originally proclaimed by Mayor Alan Arakawa in 2011 and runs from April 1 through April 7.

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“Maui County NPAC is honored to again co-sponsor this event. We will highlight employers who have created healthy workplaces and hear from them regarding the positive impacts gained. We hope employers and employees will join us on April 5,” said Sandra McGuinness, the Maui County NPAC coordinator.

One employer that has worked hard to create a healthy workplace is the Maui District Health Office, headed by Dr. Lorrin Pang. Pang’s office implemented a workplace wellness policy in 2010 that established an active wellness committee and a planning and evaluation process.

The policy encourages employees to take the stairs and hold walking meetings, and supports on-site availability of local fruits and vegetables.  Health department employees report that they feel more supported in their efforts to “walk their talk” and plan to continue the program after grant funding ends this year.

“Our community and our businesses really need to pay attention to the ‘bang for the buck’ that we all get from prevention efforts,” said Dr. Pang. In 2001, Dr. Dee Edington showed that workplace wellness can save $350 each year by helping a healthy person stay healthy – for everyone else, we can save $150 for every risk factor that we eliminate.  That potential savings just increases as our medical spending goes up over time.”

To learn more about how your company can take the first step toward wellness, or to reserve a vendor table at the wellness fair, call Lynn Araki-Regan at 280-1299 or email Selene LeGare at [email protected].

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