ACAP visits clinic with gifts to reduce stress

3 years ago

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Aroostook County Action Program’s 5210 Let’s Go! Program recently met with the team at the St. Apollonia Dental Clinic to provide yoga supplies to help their team members reduce stress associated with COVID-19 and  the workplace. 

COVID-19 has impacted essential employees in multiple ways and yoga is just one example of how  employees can help reduce stress.  

Many businesses across the state are going the extra mile to support staff during this time. On behalf of Let’s Go!, ACAP recently recognized employers such as St. Apollonia for their dedication to staff wellness during these stressful times. During a recent visit, the team at St. Apollonia received yoga supplies for each of their employees. The gift included ACAP water bottles, yoga mats, and instructional cards from the 5210 Let’s Go! Program. Staff will begin practicing relaxation and stretch breaks during the work day to enhance posture and movement opportunities. 

Renee Bragdon, local coordinator for Let’s Go!, said, “Employee wellness is crucial to the success of any business  and research shows that healthy employees are happy employees. We encourage employees and employers to work  together to ensure the workplace promotes and supports healthy eating and regular daily activity.”

Bragdon suggested adding movement breaks into meetings or eliminating soda and offering water instead, along with recruiting staff supporters.

“Cultural change  can be challenging, but having champions of change embedded in the organization can help,” Bragdon said.

The goal of Let’s Go! is to help employers and employees  integrate movement and healthy eating into the work day. The program emphasizes that wellness is not something to do after work, but instead should be part of a stressful work day. 

Employers are encouraged to support healthy lifestyles by  eliminating rewards that undermine health and replacing them with rewards that are just as meaningful. Research shows employers providing incentives and rewards for employees can increase productivity and compliance, recognizing that  each workplace will have its own resources and limitation on what can be provided, Bradgon said.

Let’s Go! Healthy Workplaces suggests these options as businesses work to promote wellness and a healthier lifestyle at their organizations. 

  1. Follow the Healthy Food and Beverage Guidelines for Meetings. 
  2. Follow the Healthy Vending Guidelines if you have vending machines.  
  3. Transform cafeterias into Let’s Go! Smarter Cafeterias.  
  4. Stand and stretch during meetings.  
  5. Provide movement breaks in meetings.  
  6. Host walking meetings when possible. 
  7. Provide and promote safe walking routes at or near your workplace. Encourage and make time for walking breaks.  Lead by example. 
  8. Promote taking the stairs with signs and clean, safe stairwells.  
  9. Idncorporate healthy messages into interoffice communications. (Example: eIntranet, e-newsletters, screensavers,  newsletters, and bulletin boards) 

Let’s Go is a program in partnership with Aroostook County Action Program and serves residents throughout Aroostook County. The program emphasizes a daily 5-2-1-0 message — five or more fruits and vegetables, two hours or less of screen time, one hour or more of  physical activity and zero sugary drinks.