Nebraska’s Governor awarded Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBSNE) the Governor’s Large Grower Wellness Award.  President and CEO Steve Martin accepted the award at the Wellcom Excellence in Worksite Wellness Awards Luncheon in November.

The award recognizes BCBSNE’s efforts to change employee health behaviors by providing an evidence-based worksite wellness program.  A free onsite wellness center is available to all employees, along with exercise classes offered daily through Fit in the City .  In addition, our wellness staff works to challenge employees to get more active and be mindful of their nutrition.

As part of our corporate wellness initiative, goals were set to get more employees physically active and increase the number of individuals achieving a healthy weight. Fun, competitive challenges helped us achieve these goals.

Our Battle of Departments Challenge helped us increase physical activity by 3 percent from 2015 to 2016.  The Challenge pitted departments against each other to log the highest amount of physical activity.  That included exercise breaks throughout the day where department captains challenged employees to participate in group activities, such as holding a plank position for a minute or taking a quick walk around the building.  The winning department received a trophy, with the top three departments receiving t-shirts that are worn proudly all year long.

The Maintain Don’t Gain campaign challenged employees to weigh in before and after the holidays in hopes of maintaining their weight. Research from Cornell University shows people gain 1.3 pounds during the Christmas-New Year’s season and it takes at least five months to take it off.  This challenge, along with Weight Watchers at Work and onsite one-on-one counseling with a dietician resulted in 51 employees losing a total of 324. 8 pounds.  That was a 3 percent improvement in employee healthy weight from 2015 to 2016.

“We’ve been able to show a marked improvement in health and well-being by tailoring our wellness programs to the needs of our employees and tying it to our objectives,” Kathy Nellor, Wellness Coordinator said. “It’s great to see the improvement because our employees are our most important asset.”