Creating a Culture of Movement at Intermountain

By Terri Flint

From teachers to business leaders, truck drivers to caregivers, many of us find ourselves sitting for hours at a time during the workday. As a health system with a mission of helping people live the healthiest lives possible, Intermountain Healthcare understands the importance of healthy habits at work, and that’s why we encourage everyone to keep moving throughout the day.

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Intermountain promotes health and activity in the workplace in a number of ways and was recently recognized as a national model by the Health Enhancement Research Organization (HERO), a national collaborative of employers working to promote health and wellness in the workplace. HERO published a case study, “How to Create a Culture of Movement at Work,” highlighting Intermountain’s efforts to promote physical activity in its work environments. 

Physical activity has health benefits, of course, but it also improves productivity and engagement at work. So what can we do to remain physically active during the workday and sharpen our focus?

Intermountain has some workplace fitness suggestions:

  • Walk frequently
  • Take the stairs
  • Commute by bike
  • Try easy exercises like wall pushups, chair dips, and squats
  • Stand and stretch during meetings

Click HERE for more information.

Intermountain also developed healthy meeting guidelines for meeting organizers to consider, including:

  • Add five-minute stretch breaks to meetings longer than 90 minutes
  • Add 15-minute physical activity breaks for day-long meetings
  • Provide healthy snacks at meetings longer than two hours
  • Have water available in all meetings

Check out these healthy meeting guidelines for your workplace!

The case study published by HERO mentions these and other healthy habits Intermountain fosters in the workplace. Intermountain also helps promote a healthy culture by recognizing caregivers who exemplify healthy behaviors and who are role models to their co-workers.

In the case study, Intermountain President and CEO Marc Harrison, MD, says, “Living well is kind of a contract. It goes both ways. The healthcare community takes care of us, but we have a responsibility to take care of ourselves as well. Part of that is eating well, part of that is taking care of our bodies, and part of it is taking care of our spirit. Supporting wellness at work has the potential to make every enterprise more successful.”

Developing and encouraging healthy habits at work is part of Intermountain LiVe Well®, an initiative that offers programs and resources to support well-being in the workplace and at home. Live Well for our caregivers focuses on five dimensions: LiVe Healthy, LiVe Happy, LiVe Secure, LiVe Connected, and LiVe Engaged. 

In describing the Intermountain case study, the HERO website says, “Providing employees with more options for being physically active at work supports LiVe Well goals to create and foster a sustainable culture of wellness, increase the overall well-being of employees, create shared accountability, and model good health for others.”