(Poughkeepsie, July 12, 2013)
Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union (HVFCU) has been recognized as a Platinum‐Level Fit‐Friendly Worksite by the American Heart Association for helping employees eat better and move more.
“Physical activity and employee wellness are important priorities at HVFCU. We are honored and excited to be recognized by the American Heart Association as a Platinum‐Level Fit‐Friendly Worksite,” said President/CEO Mary D. Madden “We’re committed to providing an exceptional workplace environment, and this will benefit our employees’ health and produce even more positive results for our worksite overall.”
- Offer employees physical activity options in the workplace.
- Increase healthy eating options at the worksite.
- Promote a wellness culture in the workplace.
- Implement at least nine criteria outlined by the American Heart Association in the areas of
physical activity, nutrition and culture.
- Demonstrate measurable outcomes related to workplace wellness.
Since 2009, HVFCU’s Wellness Committee of 10 employees has worked to bring health and wellness to the forefront for employees, both at work and in their personal lives. They promote a wellness culture throughout the company by encouraging annual physicals and standard tests including incentives), creating healthy participation events such as a break‐time walking contest, and promoting healthy food choices by including healthier choices such as fresh fruit and yogurt in the staff break room vending machines. Walking routes were also created at all offices to encourage staff to keep up their walking routine beyond the contest timeframe.
The Fit‐Friendly Worksites program is a catalyst for positive change in the American workforce by helping worksites make their employees’ health and wellness a priority. American employers are losing an estimated $225.8 billion a year because of healthcare expenses and health‐related losses in productivity, and those numbers are rising. Many American adults spend most of their waking hours at sedentary jobs. Their lack of regular physical activity raises their risk for a host of medical problems, such as obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes. Employers face $12.7 billion in annual medical expenses due to obesity alone. The American Heart Association is working to change corporate cultures by motivating employees to start walking, which has the lowest dropout rate of any physical activity.
Recognition is a critical component of the Fit‐Friendly Worksites program. Employers that join this program qualify for official recognition by the American Heart Association. They are listed on the program’s national website, as well as at local Heart Association events. Qualifying worksites
also have the right to use the program’s annual recognition seal for internal communications and with external, recruitment‐related communications.
“The Fit‐Friendly Worksites Program offers a unique, easy‐to‐implement opportunity for corporations to increase employees’ physical activity, which will help improve their health – and their employers’ bottom line,” said Jennifer Cullen, American Heart Association Executive Director. “Even people who haven’t exercised regularly until middle age can reap significant benefits by starting a walking program. A study published in 1986 in the New England Journal of Medicine found that some adults may gain two hours of life expectancy for every hour of regular, vigorous exercise they performed.”
For more information about the Fit‐Friendly Worksites program and how it is helping to improve the health of Americans by focusing on an activity that is convenient, free and easy, call 845‐905‐2120 or visit startwalkingnow.org. For more information about HVFCU, call them at 845‐463‐3011 or visit hvfcu.org.
About Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union – Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union is a full service, not‐for‐profit financial cooperative for individuals and businesses, offering real estate and consumer loans, a wide variety of savings and transactional accounts, investment services, property and casualty insurance, estate planning, and trust services. With more than $3.7 billion in assets, HVFCU serves its 270,000+ members through branches in Dutchess, Orange, Ulster, and Putnam Counties, a nationwide network of 77,000 surcharge‐free ATMs, Internet banking, online bill payment, and 24‐hour account access by telephone. HVFCU is federally insured by the NCUA and is an Equal Housing Lender. For more information, visit hvfcu.org.
About the American Heart Association – The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – America’s No. 1 and No. 4 killers. They team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas‐based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more, call 1‐800‐AHA‐USA1 or the local Dutchess/Ulster office at 845‐905‐2120, or visit heart.org.