2 hospitals recognized for healthy workplace programs

STATESBORO, GA (WTOC) –  Two Lowcountry hospitals are being recognized by the American Heart Association as 2010 Start! Fit-Friendly companies.

Hilton Head Hospital and Coastal Carolina Hospital were recognized for their efforts in promoting physical activity and health in the workplace.

There were more than 1,200 companies in 2009 by the AHA, which was an all-time high. More than 2 million employees participated in the programs, according to the AHA.

Both Hilton Head Hospital and Coastal Carolina Hospital reached Gold level status. Start! Fit-Friendly Companies reach Gold level status by implementing activities and programs to encourage physical activity, nutrition and culture enhancements such as on-site walking routes, healthy food choices in cafeterias and vending machines, annual employee health risk assessments and online tracking tools.

Hilton Head Hospital and Coastal Carolina Hospital installed fitness trails at both hospital locations; they each offer healthy options in their cafeteria and vending machines.

The hospitals offer incentives to employees for healthy behavior in the form of insurance premium reductions. They also use the American Heart Association's online tracking tools and health risk assessments.

To see the list of the 2010 Start! Fit-Friendly Companies, or to apply for recognition, go to startwalkingnow.org. There's a January 2011 deadline.

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