Historically, many employers have sought to build their wellness program around low-cost or no-cost programming or interventions. Sources of low-cost to no-cost programming and interventions are generally either the government or the non-profit community. In this month’s column, I would like to introduce you to a government resource from the U.S. CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). The programming is called the CDC’s Lean Works! – A Workplace Obesity Prevention Program.

The CDC’s LEAN Works! is a free web-based resource that offers interactive tools and evidence-based resources to design effective worksite obesity prevention and control programs, including an obesity cost calculator to estimate how much obesity is costing your company and how much savings your company could reap with different workplace interventions.

The resource is divided into five programmatic stages:

  1. No cost resource for wt management article shutterstock_101124163Why – Why should I create a program?
  2. Plan – Where should I begin?
  3. Build – What program components and activities should I include?
  4. Promote – How do I maintain interest and motivation?
  5. Assess – Is my program working?

For each of the stages, you are provided with:

  • Written materials
  • Step-by-Step Instructions
  • Videos to watch
  • Links to click on for related information

In addition to the program stage related information above, the website also provides you with access to additional resources such as:

  • An Obesity Cost Calculator
  • Recommendations and promising practices
  • A tools index
  • State-Level Toolkit and Resources
  • A glossary
  • References

A descriptive evaluation of the CDC’s LEAN Works! was recently published in The American Journal of Health Promotion. This study was designed to determine employer use of and satisfaction with the tool. A total of 29 employers participated in the study. The employers were both public and private, of varying sizes, represented various industries and had wellness programs with varying lengths of maturity. The study involved employers providing their initial impression, bi-monthly reports of their use and a final assessment. The study process with the employers involved self-report surveys, interviews and a descriptive analysis.

The study results included:

  • 96% of the employers reporting a positive experience with the website
  • 77% of the employers reporting they would use the website to help them develop their obesity management programs
  • 92% of the employers reporting they would use the website to implement their obesity management programs
  • 85% of the employers reporting they would use the website to evaluate their obesity management programs

The employers reported finding the following LEAN Works! tool components valuable:

  • The step-by-step implementation process
  • Template and toolkit
  • Promising practices
  • Specific recommendations

You can access The CDC’s Lean Works! resources here.

William McPeckWilliam McPeck, MSW, CWWPC, WLCP

Bill McPeck is a Workplace Wellness Centre of Excellence, Inc. Associate. Bill is a Certified Wellness Culture Coach, Worksite Wellness Program Consultant and Work-Life Professional. He is available to help you with all your employee wellness, safety, work-life and well-being needs. Contact Bill with your questions, comments, or concerns at 207-355-1203 or williammcpeck@gmail.com