Glynn County department heads and managers want their employees to be physically able to perform their jobs.
An added incentive is that healthier county employees lead to lower annual health insurance costs for the county.
Health care costs have risen steadily over the past five years. In 2018, the county paid over $8.59 million. The cost of health insurance in the 2022 budget was over $11.18 million.
One way to encourage employees to be healthier is to perform an annual personal health check. The test is carried out each September as part of the benefits insurance with employment.
This year, the County Human Resources Department’s Safety and Wellness Committee took it a step further by offering an incentive activity to help employees prepare for the health assessment.
They were invited to participate in the “100 mile challenge”. Employees took the challenge starting June 2 and aiming to walk 100 miles in three months using the Nike Run app to track their progress.
The challenge was funded by a $7,000 grant from the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia. Glynn County was among 20 members to receive the grant because of its commitment to employee health.
More than a quarter of the 117 county employees who volunteered to participate met the 100-mile goal by the Sept. 2 deadline. Employees were recognized for having traveled at least 50 miles and up to 100 miles.
Terryln Small, county benefits administrator, decided to lead by example.
“We’re not focusing on losing weight, we’re just getting moving and getting healthy,” Small said. “I reached my 100 miles in a month. The challenge was a motivation for me.
Employees will also be offered a confidential health assessment program using a health risk assessment with blood pressure screening and health improvement feedback.
Wellness programs have a proven track record of improving employee health and quality of life while reducing claims and improving workplace morale, according to the state Association of County Commissioners.