Wellness Champions Networks: a best practice resource for workplace wellness programs
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A recent article in ACSM's Health & Fitness Journal presented a set of nine best practice design principles for worksite wellness programs (4). These nine design principles were based on 44 best practices identified through a review of scientific articles, industry reports, consensus statements, and expert perspectives. Furthermore, the nine design principles were subsequently associated with highly successful programs. An in-depth presentation of the 10-year journey that propelled the Turck Corporation in Minneapolis to one of the healthiest companies in the United States showed alignment of their LifeWorks@Turck program with these design principles (5). Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania deployed the nine best practice design principles and, in a 3-year period, went from having no coordinated wellness program to being recognized as one of the top 100 healthiest employers in the United States. The wellness program leaders concluded that the use of the best practice design principles allowed for quick success and accelerated progress toward the envisioned future of a culture that embraces wellness as an essential facet of life (3). Workplace wellness leaders at Indiana University deliberately and prospectively applied the best practice design principles to a fundamental “redesign” of Indiana University’s worksite wellness program. The newly designed “Healthy Change” program documented 15% risk reduction in its second year and was so well received by employees that the evaluation noted a 100% “would recommend to others” satisfaction rating (2). These observations provide further support for the use of best practice program design principles. This article is focused on one of those best practices, namely, Wellness Champion Networks.