JEFFERSONVILLE — Shirley Goble works as the employee health nurse at Morgan Foods in Austin, where health fairs, free blood sugar testing and blood pressure screenings are offered to all employees.
On Tuesday, Goble attended the Jeffersonville Workplace Wellness Symposium, held at Kye’s, in order to gather more tips for a healthy workplace.
“I’m learning about the mentor programs and the books that might interest the employees,” said Goble, who added that in the near future, the company may incorporate more fitness activities.
During the Wellness Symposium, Chuck Gillespie, program director of the Wellness Council of Indiana, presented ideas and wellness tips that companies can instill to encourage a healthy workplace. Gillespie explained that the Wellness Council promotes anything it can do to boost quality of life. He added that Indiana has high rates of obesity and smoking, which hampers quality of life. The Wellness Council offers training and workshops for companies interested in adopting a wellness program.
Mike Campbell, a member of Wellness Council of Indiana Board of Advisors and chief wellness officer at Neace Lukens, urged companies to be more proactive and serve as leaders in wellness.
“The things I work on in my personal life are family members and people who are closest to me, the people I feel I have influence on,” he said. “In order to help them, I help me. How can we really encourage each other in this very, very small circle of influence? Everyone of us has that circle of influence.”
Campbell explained that today, poor diet choices trumps tobacco use and sedentary lifestyles as the culprit for obesity and preventable diseases.
Attitude also is key, as having inspiration and a can-do attitude can make a difference in prevention and wrong choices. The Wellness Council helps companies with the right choices and obtain the right tools to inspire healthier choices.
“You have to have a plan,” Campbell said. “We our ask our employees to have a written plan for health, and are you practicing it? We believe in the five pillars; physical, career, social, financial and spiritual. You have to have a purpose in life. If you don’t have meaning and purpose, why would you want to change anything?”
He suggested embracing wellness with positivity.
“Wellness is not a program. It’s a culture. For an individual, it’s a lifestyle, and a way of life. It’s what you do,” said Campbell.
While the topic of the afternoon was embracing health in the workplace, Jeffersonville Mayor Mike Moore expressed that wellness is close to his heart.
“As mayor, I have been given the opportunity to lead the city. This is a responsibility I take seriously,” said Moore, who also said he places priority on his children.
A few years ago, Moore discovered a lump on his neck, and after a couple visits to the doctor, he received the phone call that no one ever wants to get: He had cancer and the odds of beating it weren’t in his favor.
Moore’s doctor gave him a 15 to 20 percent of surviving. But Moore didn’t share his doctor’s bleak outlook and instead sought treatment in Houston, where he underwent surgery and a grueling round of chemotherapy. Through it all, whenever he was able, he worked out and made daily jogs from the hospital to his apartment. In the end, he beat the odds.
“I thought, ‘the stronger I am, the better I can fight this disease.’ And at the end of the day, I was in good health and rebounded. Here I am as mayor of Jeffersonville because I never gave up. There are rewards to being fit,” said Moore.
Because of this, Moore realized part of his purpose as mayor is to promote good health. Several initiatives include the Mayor’s Fitness Council, the community gardens and incorporating free fitness activities at Jeffersonville RiverStage.
“It’s a great way to get out and make the people aware,” he said. “You have a responsibly to yourself. Leave here and make your friends and family more aware.”