CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A new campaign aimed at inspiring wellness in the workplace kicked off this week in Charleston.
The "Live Well Charlie West" campaign, led by the Charleston Area Alliance, will bring together existing resources and groups already working toward healthier workplaces.
The monthlong campaign will provide wellness information and activities both in the workplace and out, said Cullen Naumoff, a project manager for the Alliance.
The Alliance is working with more than a dozen partners, including the City of Charleston and local businesses. The campaign kicked off Sunday at the second leg of Charleston's Winter Series walk/run events.
Naumoff said healthier employees could save businesses money and are more productive.
"All the statistics show if you have a healthy work force your business is more productive and so you're building a stronger economy," she said. "So that is also really an impetus for us to be invested in workplace wellness."
She also pointed to a study by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showing businesses save $3 to $6 for every $1 spent on wellness activities in the workplace.
The campaign will focus on four points: drug abuse, mental health, nutrition and physical activity.
Some of the things the campaign plans to offer are lunch meetings to talk about healthier offices, fitness classes and SuccessStrategies sessions at the Alliance. Naumoff said the "lunch n'learn" sessions could take place at the Alliance or in the workplace.
The campaign also will head to social media. They hope participants will post pictures online of "healthy selfies" and their "healthy lunch." Organizers also plan on offering corporate cooking classes and a discussion on how to dispose of unused, unwanted or expired medications.
Adam Flack, executive director of West Virginia On The Move, will lead the physical fitness angle. He said the campaign would be a good way to "connect the dots" between businesses interested in making their workplaces healthier and organizations that could help.
Flack said making the push for wellness in the workplace could produce results. He worked in worksite wellness for three years at West Virginia University in Morgantown where there was an emphasis on healthy workplaces.
"Our return on investment and the quality of health improvement of our employees were not something we could see anecdotally, but we actually were able to start measuring them, and that was something," Flack said.
"As a manager, you see it as an initial investment first, and you don't want to spend that money, but when you see there is a return on investment involved there it becomes a little more serious.
"Since we all spend so much time at work, you know, you want your workforce to be happy, healthy and as stress-free as possible, and physical activity is part of that."