Arkansas State University employees are getting fit

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)-Arkansas State University held a wellness fair on Thursday for employees.

Director of Wellness and Health Promotions at ASU, Robyn Whitehead, says this event was created as part of a larger campaign.

"What we're focusing on is Global Employee Health and Fitness Month," Whitehead said. "This is a world wide initiative going on right now. What we're trying to impact is that it's so important for companies and organizations to try to have some sort of wellness program for their employees. Because a lot of the times, you now, time management and different things are an issue. People saying they don't have time to exercise."

Whitehead says studies have shown that the productivity of employees improves in a positive and active environment.

"If you have a program at the workplace," Whitehead said. "Number one, it makes for a happier, healthier environment at work and also shows the employees that the employers care about them. And then, it can help decrease absenteeism, decrease health care costs. It can increase morale. So, it really is a good idea and research shows that."

Whitehead says the ASU employees that went through the fair seemed impressed with what they saw.

"The employees have been saying that they really enjoy all the booths," Whitehead said. "They think there's a good variety and mixture of what was going on, different ideas and things they didn't know about, which is good."

Whitehead said she worked to invite a large variety of businesses in the community to participate.

"One of the things we have going on right now is the healthy cooking demonstrations," Whitehead said. "We've had one each hour and their giving like a mini cooking class. Best Buy is out here with their X-Box Kinect and are showing some great physical activity games. They're showing that you can be physically active and still have a good time. St. Bernards is here doing blood draws and giving people good information."

St. Bernards tested for things like cholesterol, glucose and lipids.

They also conducted PSA screenings for men and mammograms for women.

Twenty-two different businesses set up booths in the wellness fair.

Whitehead says this may become an annual event.

For more information on Arkansas State University, log onto their website.

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