City sets health fair for staff

Published 10:45 pm Friday, January 7, 2011

The city of Suffolk is looking for ways to make its employees and retirees more healthy and active.

To that end, the city will hold a health and wellness fair for current and retired city employees Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the National Guard Armory.

The “Health and Wellness: Knowing Your Numbers Fair” will focus on helping participants learn about all of the healthy options available to them, including exercise, food and diet, financial services and relaxation options. Employees also will be encouraged to set health goals and informed employees of their current health-related numbers, including blood pressure, glucose readings, vision screening, bone density and more.

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Organizers say the event also will help lower insurance premiums for Suffolk employees and retirees, as it will kick-start programs to promote healthier lifestyles.

“I think many times people are afraid to find out their numbers,” said Jennifer Hall, health and wellness coordinator for the city of Suffolk. “Our goal is to have employees show up and at least go to each table and learn as much as they can that day. A main goal is to create a healthy workforce.”

Hall said the fair is just a starting point. It will give city employees the opportunity to ask questions of the health and wellness vendors and experts and obtain information so they can make the best decisions affecting their health.

Participants will be given “My Life Check” cards from the American Red Cross on which they will be able to record their blood pressure, glucose reading, body mass index, vision screening and bone density numbers. Before they leave, they will be able to meet with an American Heart Association representative or a health fair committee member, who will show them how to navigate the website to get tips and suggestions tailored to their numbers.

Attendees will have the opportunity to receive a free chair massage; participate in Hip Hop Hustle demonstrations with Anytime Fitness; participate in Zumba demonstrations with the Suffolk Family YMCA; play Wii Games including Dance Dance Revolution; drink free smoothies from Tropical Smoothie; and eat healthy snacks from a number of vendors, including Sam’s Club, Subway, Chick-Fil-A, Mosaics and more.

“We want to show them fun and exciting ways that they can be healthy,” Hall said.

They will be able to get flu shots; take advantage of special gym membership pricing; talk to experts about cancer and diabetes prevention; and participate in a raffle. There will be at least 700 raffle items from over 45 vendors including a Wii, a night at Great Wolf Lodge, Belk gift certificates, a night at the Hilton Garden Inn, free gym memberships, free teeth whitening, family passes to Busch Gardens, and other prizes.

This event is one of many events that Hall plans to organize as the city’s health and wellness coordinator, she said.

“It’s a starting point to become more healthy and more active,” she said.