During National Walking Day and Public Health Week, The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast will be recognized by the American Heart Association for achieving Fit-Friendly status. This recognition will be presented Wednesday, April 2, at 11:45 a.m. under the Friendship Oak on the university’s Gulf Park campus in Long Beach followed by a one-mile walk around campus.
For receiving designation in the Fit-Friendly Worksite Recognition Program, the American Heart Association is recognizing the university as an employer who champions the health of their employees by creating physical activity programs within the workplace. These programs and facilities, which are provided to both students and employees at Southern Miss Gulf Coast, include a fitness center, marked walking trail on campus, and yoga, among a variety of other programs.
As a participating organization, Southern Miss Gulf Coast will have free access to program resources and materials to help promote company wellness programs to employees, as well as internal newsletter templates and consultation on CPR/AED (automated external defibrillator) programs.
The university joins a list of other gold status Fit-Friendly worksites like Hancock Bank, Singing River Health System and Mississippi Power. Studies suggest that implementing a worksite physical activity program and promoting a culture of activity will help companies increase productivity, reduce absenteeism, lower turnover and reduce healthcare costs. Currently, American employers face increasing healthcare expenses and health-related losses in productivity that cost an estimated $225.8 billion a year.
For more information about Southern Miss Gulf Coast, visit www.usm.edu/gulfcoast.