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New wellness initiative has LRC workers “On the Move”

New wellness initiative has LRC workers “On the Move”

Bill Stephens

March 3rd, 2016

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NEWS RELEASE

FRANKFORT—Capitol staffers will soon be even more on the move.

The Legislative Research Commission (LRC) on Wednesday launched LRC on the Move, a wellness initiative aimed at keeping employees healthy and feeling good.

LRC on the Move is a voluntary program open to all employees featuring awareness messaging, health information and incentives for participants.

Bill O’Brien, LRC Assistant Director for Human Resources and Professional Development, is spearheading the initiative, with the support of a newly formed wellness committee made up of LRC staff. O’Brien is a former Director of Wellness and Benefits at Rutgers University.

“By encouraging a supportive work environment and healthy living choices, programs like LRC on the Move can make a powerful impact on the lives of employees,” O’Brien said. “This program reinforces the new direction we’re heading as an agency: a direction that promotes employee participation and empowerment.”

Among the goals of the program is highlighting resources already available to employees, such as HumanaVitality, an incentive program through which many Kentucky state employees earn rewards for healthy habits. LRC staffers can earn rewards like gift cards from popular retailers and fitness trackers through that program for meeting activity goals, weight loss and participating in health assessment events.

LRC on the Move is an employee-conceived and led initiative. Several staff members mentioned their hopes for better wellness efforts during the 125 one-on-one meetings that LRC Director David A. Byerman held with employees after he became the agency head last year. Employees who made the suggestions for a stronger emphasis on wellness are now among the founding members of the LRC’s wellness committee. “LRC on the Move” was one of several names for the program conceived by the committee and ultimately voted upon by agency employees.

LRC on the Move comes at a good time, in the midst of a legislative session in which some employees might be experiencing more stress or spending longer hours at their desks. Reminders and encouragement to eat healthy, release stress, sleep right and keep active will all be part of the wellness initiative.

According to a study funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 85 percent of all health care spending each year is linked to workers with one or more chronic medical conditions that can be, at least partly, attributed to poor diet, obesity and a lack of activity – all pitfalls of a busy office schedule. The CDC estimates those costs could top $4.2 trillion annually in the U.S. by 2023.

Today’s launch of LRC on the Move included the first “Wellness Wednesday” message in a morning email bulletin to all LRC staff. The message outlined a range of simple exercises employees can perform at their desks to stay limber and in shape.

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