Workplace Wellness: Health Beyond (Our) Borders

Post by Paula Jahn, Co-owner and Registered Dietitian at Nourish Northwest

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We love our space at Nourish Northwest. It is bright, inviting and comfortable. A few clients even asked who our interior decorator (us!) is, which we find amusing.

Our beautiful lobby.

Most of what goes on at Nourish Northwest—cooking classes, nutrition workshops, nutrition counseling, or  fitness classes—happens inside our doors.

Our core belief is that “movement, enjoyment of wholesome, nutritious food and community relationships are essential to optimal health.” One way we seek to bring these principles to the community outside our brick and mortar location is through corporate wellness programs.

We have found that worksites are great place to educate and inspire people to make better choices for their health. Often, either employers and/or health insurance companies will pay for wellness programs for employees and even offer monetary incentives. Employees are usually engaged and excited to take time away from their desks to learn about health and nutrition.

It’s no wonder more and more companies are choosing to implement corporate wellness programs. Take a look at these staggering statistics:

  • A recent study from the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that obese employees miss over 450 million more days per year than their healthier counterparts. This costs employers more than $150 billion in lost productivity.
  • It is estimated that as much as 75 percent of total U.S. health care spending is for people with chronic conditions. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Four Common Causes of Chronic Disease. April 2012.)
  • Just four modifiable health risks (tobacco use, poor nutrition, lack of physical activity, and excessive alcohol consumption) are responsible for much of this chronic disease burden. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Four Common Causes of Chronic Disease. April 2012.)
  • According to a recent study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, for every $1 spent on nutrition counseling with a Registered Dietitian, $4 was saved.
  • Workplace wellness programs can reduce sick leave by 28%, medical costs by 26%, and 30% among worker’s compensation claims.

Registered dietitians and certified personal trainers carry the education and expertise to implement corporate wellness programs that address two of the four health risks that predict chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. The Nourish Northwest team has developed a number of workplace wellness lectures in a “lunch and learn” format, cooking demonstrations, and healthy habits/weight loss programs to address this growing need. Take a look at our full list of offerings!


Cooking demonstrations engage the audience.
Cooking demonstrations engage the audience.


Although employee wellness programs require time to see positive results, companies that make this investment will enjoy many benefits, from healthcare savings to increased employee productivity and satisfaction. As health professionals, we are excited to bring our programs to workplaces across the Portland area!

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