By Zach Fund
Hello from Seaside, Oregon!
My AmeriCorps VISTA Year has been a great opportunity to encourage people to live healthier lifestyles. I have connected to others and feel I am able to make a difference through work site wellness, no matter how small or how meager the impact may seem. I have already accomplished a lot but I feel I have only scratched the surface. Every new project and idea keeps me excited and encourages me to keep going and improve health outcomes on the north Oregon coast.
Work site wellness has been a challenge in one of the rainiest places in Oregon, where grey sky and rain are the norm. To make things light and fun, I have adopted an employee recess program from a health department in California that can be done inside (or outside on a rare sunny day) in the middle of the workday.
I have named this project the Seaside Recess Project. You may be thinking recess is for kids, but think about how much we enjoyed recess as a kid and the benefits to our health from being able to play and be active during the school day. Can recess work for employees, for work sites, and communities? Yes! The point of Seaside recess is to bring out the inner kid in all of us and play during the day at work, during a meeting or lunch break.
This program is a way to a way to incorporate small bits of exercise in to the workday in a way that is accessible to all. The exercises are around 10 minutes, are simple and usually themed to a sport or a dance that has multiple parts. It is intended for all age and ability levels with the help of facilitators, who bring energy and are excited about the program. The feedback from the program has been very positive and request for more has been overwhelming. It is so great to see kids, the elderly, families and employees interact with a fun activity and get to enjoy the simple benefits of healthy activity.
Everyone deserves a recess!
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