Huckabee's Arkansas Healthy Lifestyle Program a Good Model to Follow
Posted Aug 26 2008 4:30pm
Arkansas health officials are expanding their employee wellness program,the Healthy Employee Lifestyle pilot program , which was launched in 2004 under former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) and targeted 10,000 employees in the state's health and human services departments. State employees can earn up to three paid vacation days per year for increasing physical activity, eating more fruits and vegetables, and reducing or eliminating cigarette smoking. More than 2,500 employees have registered to participate, and 947 have earned time off through the points-based system.
The incentives are there, and the payoff is beginning with just under 10% of the workforce making positive lifestyle changes. It only takes a 10% weight reduction in overweight employees to see significant reductions in lifetime health care costs. Active employees can save $12-$15,000 over the lifetime in direct medical costs versus inactive employees. Multiply that by 10,000 employees or even 947 employees and the savings really add up!
This program is a direct result of Huckabee's dramatic 100 pound weight loss and healthy lifestyle choices, a further example of the importance of top down leadership in wellness programs. Check out the excellent healthy Arkansas website for great tips.