YMCA of Dodge County Named Blue Zones Project Approved Worksite
Blue Zones Project Dodge County held a ribbon cutting celebration today at the YMCA of Dodge County to celebrate them as the newest worksite to become Blue Zones Project Approved(tm). This designation demonstrates the YMCA’s commitment to focusing on employee and community well-being. Dirk Langfoss, Chief Executive Officer of the YMCA of Dodge County spoke about why the YMCA wanted to become a Blue Zones Project Approved worksite. “I know this can make an impact. I appreciate what Beaver Dam Community Hospitals, Inc. has done for this community by bringing Blue Zones Project to Dodge County. What we do and what BDCH is trying to do through Blue Zones Project really makes a huge difference. We feel this is a perfect fit.”
Spearheading the effort was an employee-led wellness team. Wellness plans were communicated regularly to employees and included the addition of positive messaging and well-being reminders posted in work areas, supporting a legacy of volunteerism and community outreach, encouraging physical activity, and encouraging more plant-based food.
Environment matters when it comes to well-being. The YMCA has a well-lit, open stairwell, encouraging employees and patrons to take the stairs rather than the elevator. Positive messaging is found throughout the facility and inspirational stories are posted on the YMCA of Dodge County’s homepage and Facebook page. Posters encouraging micro-breaks are clearly displayed for employees who spend an extended amount of time at a desk. Workstations have the flexibility of being used while standing or sitting. The YMCA has a large outdoor area which allows for quiet space to relax. These work environment best practices nudge employees toward better physical and mental well-being.
Being active as a YMCA employee is easier with access to showers and locker room facilities as well as a free gym membership and a variety of fitness classes. Bike racks can also be found on-site, encouraging employees to use active forms of transportation in their commute. For those that take a car to the YMCA, parking spots farthest from the entrance will be painted this summer as a reminder that simply parking farther away from an entrance can easily add more steps throughout the day.
Employees are also enjoying more plant-based food after becoming a Blue Zones Project Approved worksite. A cooking demonstration class was held for employees and the public in March. Lunch with a co-worker events are held quarterly, fostering more personal connections at work. Employees can subscribe to a summer Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share that is dropped off at the YMCA. The Good Earth Farm of Oakfield CSA provides local, fresh produce to subscribers every other week throughout the summer.
Katherine Koepsell, Past President of the YMCA of Dodge County Board of Directors said, “The YMCA board has always been very impressed by the staff’s dedication of fulfilling the YMCA’s mission of building healthy minds, spirits, and bodies. This really feels like a natural fit. We are honored for this formal recognition of all of the hard work of the YMCA to make a healthy workplace for its employees.”
Brought to Dodge County by Beaver Dam Community Hospitals, in collaboration with Sharecare, Inc. and Blue Zones, LLC, Blue Zones Project is a community-by-community well-being improvement initiative-designed to make healthy choices easier through sustainable changes to environment, policy, and social networks.
For details about becoming a Blue Zones Project Approved organization or general information about Blue Zones Project, Dodge County, call 920-212-8511, or visit dodgecounty.bluezonesproject.com