BW Promotes Healthy Habits with Help of $20,000 Grant

Baldwin Wallace University is taking a preventive approach to combating chronic diseases, such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes, in the workplace -- thanks to a $20,000 grant from Medical Mutual of Ohio.

Many of these disease processes are related to obesity and influenced by lifestyle factors. With the grant, BW intends to improve knowledge and action that might lessen the impact of these diseases on its employees through education and accessibility.

Motivated by national and regional research including statistics from Healthy Ohio, which reported that nearly two-thirds of Ohio's residents are overweight or obese, the College recognized the health concerns affecting its faculty, staff and students. In 2009, BW created a health and wellness program on campus that offers education on healthful eating habits, fitness classes and frequent health and fitness events.

Medical Mutual's $20,000 grant will escalate BW's health and wellness program to higher levels with increased educational tools and resources that teach healthy habits and opportunities for weight-loss success.

Over the past two months, the College launched healthy lifestyle workshops and featured speakers who discussed how to prevent a heart attack as well as an explanation of the USDA's Food Guide Pyramid. Health assessment appointments are being offered to measure cholesterol, blood pressure and other variables. These levels will be monitored throughout the year to track success.

Also, the College is reimbursing membership fees for participants interested in enrolling in Weight Watchers' online program as one method to achieve a healthy weight as well as bi-weekly, focused instructional meetings to support these participants.

In addition, the grant will fund an in-house Web-based tool accessible to all employees that promotes health education across campus. Finally, a slew of free fitness classes, such as pilates, yoga, cycling, water aerobics and a boot camp with a certified trainer, are offered as an easy and fun way to increase physical activity.

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