Wayland Academy Recognized for a third Blue Zones Project Approved Designation as a Worksite
BY: Blue Zones Project® Dodge County
Blue Zones Project® Dodge County held a ribbon cutting celebration today at Wayland Academy in Beaver Dam to celebratethem as the newest worksite to become Blue Zones Project Approved™. Focusing on employee health and well-being, this designation completes Wayland Academy’s goal to earn Blue Zones Project Approved status in three areas: as a school, a worksite, and a restaurant. This trifecta is a rare achievement for any Blue Zones Project organization nationwide and exemplifies the commitment Wayland Academy has to focusing on the well-being of employees, students, and the community in which they live, work and play.
“Our mission and philosophy statements have incorporated Blue Zones tenants since before we knew about Blue Zones Project. Our fundamental pillars include scholarship, health, faith and service and those ideas have been a central part to who we are and what we are as a community at the academy since the 19th century. The intentional incorporation of Blue Zones Project ideas will make our community stronger and healthier in what we eat, how we move and exercise, and in how we work,” said Joe Lennertz, Wayland Academy Head of School.
Led by a worksite wellness committee, Wayland looked for ways to incorporate their pillars into Blue Zones Project practice recommendations that have been shown to improve well-being which includes offering ways to move more, connect with colleagues, and address personal concerns that lead to stress.
To encourage less sedentary work for office-based employees, flexible work stations were added at Wayland. A variety of walking routes were mapped out, encouraging employees to move naturally on the beautiful Wayland campus. The availability of bike racks as well as showers and locker rooms make it easier to consider an active commute to work. For employees that need to use a car, Blue Zones Project parking spaces provide a good reminder that even the simple act of parking a little farther from your destination adds up over time.
Employees who have high-quality friends on the job are seven times as likely to be engaged in their work. Wayland Academy fosters connections between colleagues by encouraging employees to enjoy lunch together in Wayland Academy’s dining hall, a Blue Zones Project Approved restaurant. Employees are also encouraged to participate in volunteer activities along with the students and outside of work hours. Helping in the employee garden or participating in Wayland’s Potluck Moai are also great ways to buildfriendships between co-workers.
Having a variety of options to choose from makes participating in Blue Zones Project easy, no matter where an individual is on their well-being journey. Wayland Academy’s flexible work schedule for employees, as well as an employee assistance program, aim to meet people where they are. The employee assistance program provides resources that includes a 24-7 nurse line, weight management and nutrition coaching, tobacco cessation counseling, and chronic condition management help. Staff were also offered the opportunity to identify and reconnect with their personal purpose through a Blue Zones Project purpose workshop on campus.
Mr. Lennertz concluded, “We hope that the Wayland community will continue to benefit from the Blue Zones Project ideas in the future. We also hope that our approval can be an example for the larger Beaver Dam community and all that we do here.”
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 920-342-2479, or visitdodgecounty.bluezonesproject.com