Federal Eye: Obama Wants Healthier Federal Employees

You know the saying that if you want to get ahead in your job it’s wise to dress like the boss? Federal employees may also want to start exercising like him.

As President Obama continues his health care reform efforts today, he’s asked aides to identify the best private-sector employee wellness and prevention practices and consider adopting similar plans for federal employees and federal workplaces. The Office of Personnel Management will work with the Office of Health Reform, the National Economic Council, the Labor Department and the Office of Management and Budget to develop the plan, according to the White House.

“The President hopes that by encouraging more employers to adopt similar programs, we can improve the productivity of our workforce, delay or avoid many of the complications of chronic diseases, and slow medical cost growth,” a news release said.

Obama met this morning with state health officials and the CEOs of companies that operate employee health care programs, including Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft, REI, Safeway and the director of an Ohio state government program developed to reduce health risks for Buckeye State employees.

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Terrence (Terry) Hill PHR

This is especially important since May is National Fitness Month. I’m hoping that HHS and the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports in consulted. We need to building on the annual President’s Challenge, which began on May 1 and runs through July, to encourage Federal employees to exercise and eat right. This is an epidemic in the Federal workforce, where up to 2/3 are overweight or obese. We need to encourage employees to get Health Risk Assessments, take time to exercise, eat healthy food (no more cakes, donuts, and cookies) and ultimately, save in health costs, which is the bottom line.