Walk WT - A Mission for Workplace Wellness
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Walk WT – A Mission for Workplace Wellness The entire world faces challenges with obesity. An increasing trend in obesity prevalence since the early 1980s has posed a significant population health burden across the globe (Yosuke, Bo, Jennifer, Rebeccah & Larsen Penny, 2018). If current trends continue, 22 percent of people in the workforce will be obese by 2045 (Medical Xpress, 2018). The most recent National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey conducted in 2017-2018 revealed the highest prevalence of obesity among adults aged 40-59 (11.5%). The WT Health and Wellness Clinic was established in 2018 to serve faculty and staff at West Texas A&M University (WTAMU) for wellness exams. The main goal of wellness exams is prevention and health promotion. Past medical history, physical exams and diagnostic testing are provided during the visits. Since the majority of patients seen at the clinic are working faculty and staff, the average age of patients is 40-59 years. Walking is one of the best exercises for weight loss. Walking is convenient, low-impact, and an easy way for beginners to start exercising. A walking plan was developed in the spring of 2019. The program was designed to benefit the faculty and staff of WTAMU by utilizing the American Heart Association six-week beginner walking plan in an on-campus walking movement. The program was set to meet in early March, 2020 for a weekly active walking session that would take place over five consecutive weeks. The weekly sessions were aimed to promote accountability among participants and establish a joint effort to promote health and change within the campus community. The first session met on March 10, 2020 and using the on-campus walking path approximately 1.35 miles were covered. All participants voiced approval and their interest in the program. The next session was set to convene on March 24, 2020. Due to Covid-19 restrictions set forth in mid-March of 2020, the Walk WT movement was cancelled in terms of in-person meetings and utilization of campus resources. Participants were encouraged to continue walking and were given the opportunity to communicate for accountability via email. A retrospective chart review completed in January of 2021 analyzed visits from 2018 to 2020, and revealed 141 patients in the age range of 40-81. The average Body Mass Index on these patients was 26.8% which is considered overweight (CDC, 2020). Based on this information, the future of the walking program will be restarted once COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted.