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Title:California Fit Business Kit
Pub. date: February 2008
Edition: 2nd
Includes: Curriculum
Audience: Adults, Employees, Educators
Language: English
Description:The California Fit Business Kit is a suite of ten tools designed to increase access to fruits and vegetables and physical activity during the workday. These tools can be used individually or as part of a comprehensive worksite wellness program. Most importantly, the tools can assist employers and employees who are interested in combating declining employee health and ever-increasing health care costs. California Fit Business Kits can be ordered at cost, plus freight/handling, and sales tax through Network for a Healthy California
Funding Source: California Department of Public Health, Network for a Healthy California, USDA SNAP
Details
Pilot Testing: Over the course of a two year period between 2005-2006, the California 5 a Day—Be Active! Worksite Program (Now the Network for a Healthy California-Worksite Program) developed the Fit Business Kit as a collection of evidence-based resources to help support businesses in their efforts to provide healthy work environments for their employees. The Kit provides employers with an array of simple, low-cost, easy to implement tools to make fruits and vegetables and physical activity more readily accessible to their workers.

Twenty-five private, nonprofit and public businesses completed a questionnaire regarding the Fit Business Kit. Information was gathered regarding seven components of the Fit Business Kit: Check for Health, Healthy Meeting Policies, Vending Machine Nutrition Standards, Healthy Dining Menu Guidelines, CSA/Farmers’ Market Tool, Stairwell Tool and the Walking Club Tool. Notable information regarding each section is summarized below:

  • The median number of employees at each work site was 120 with 59% making %34,000 per year or less.
  • Most participants (88%) felt that Check for Health was applicable to their workplace. They also found the section easy to understand (96%) and would recommend it to another organization (100%). However, 88% would also like assistance from the California 5 A Day-Be Active! Worksite Program staff as well as best practices/case studies from other worksites who have successfully implemented Check for Health (84%).
  • All respondents found the Healthy Meeting Policies easy to understand and 88% felt they were applicable to their workplace. The majority would also recommend them to another organization (96%). Many would also like assistance from the California 5 a Day-Be Active! Worksite Program (60%) and best practices/case studies from other work sites who have successfully implemented Healthy Meeting Policies (76%).
  • 76% of those surveyed reported having a vending machine at their worksite. Of those participants, 94.8% found the Vending Machine Nutrition Standards easy to understand and would recommend them to another organization. Most (78.9%), would also like assistance from the California 5 a Day staff and best practices/case studies from other worksites.
Assessment instrument Used? yes
Use Restrictions: May not copy.
Reviewers Comments: This social marketing campaign is designed to help increase physical activity and healthy eating in the worksite. Developed by the Network for Healthy California–Worksite Program, the California Fit Business Kit includes ten components that can help improve the food and physical activity at the worksite. Each tested component is intended to be easy to plan, implement and evaluate.

The kits includes a detailed description of each of the components, including setting up wellness committees, having healthy meeting policies (with healthy food and physical activity breaks), improving food in vending machines and cafeterias, ordering fresh farm produce from CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture), setting up a worksite farmers’ market, improving stairwells and creating walking clubs. These strategies can be tackled individually, taken on several at a time, or all at once as a part of a comprehensive wellness program. Some strategies will take significantly more time and money to apply than others. Not all components will work for every person and all worksites; however, they can be easily customized to fit organization and individual needs.

The kit is set up logically and is easy to follow. It begins with a "Check for Health", evaluating workplace attitudes and programs/services available for employees. Some of the components include guidelines for healthy eating and suggested food and beverage standards. The suggested guidelines for fat and saturated fat are consistent with the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The suggested guidelines for sugar and beverages are consistent with the Senate Bill 19 Standard for the state of California. The suggested healthy dining guidelines for entrees/meals are based on “1/3 of the daily nutrition guidelines recommended by leading health organizations” and the suggested healthy dining guidelines for side dishes, appetizers and sodium are based on “1/3 of the entrée guidelines”. The may be misleading as an entrée accompanied by several sides and a dessert may be more the recommended daily guidelines and thus, not a healthy option.

The kit also includes a 10-week web-based wellness program, called Take Action! (http://www.takeactionca.com/). Take Action! is a comprehensive program that uses many of the resources from the Fit Business Kit. It is a great program for organizations strongly interested in making a difference in employee wellness; however it may require significant organization resources and employee time to implement.

The California Fit Business Kit includes a number of resources to help make positive changes in the worksite, including several booklets with formative research on workplace nutrition and physical activity, fruit and vegetable consumption, issue briefs with convincing arguments for worksite wellness, fact sheets and statistics. Many of the statistics, studies and reports are specific to the state of California, but could be applied or even duplicated in other states. Some of the reports mention or refer to the old 5 A Day Web site. A Healthy Meetings certification will help organizations to commit to their goal to improve employee health.

Availability
View/download files: 
Web site: http://www.cdph.ca.gov/PROGRAMS/CPNS/Pages/WorksiteFitBusinessKit.aspx
Take Action!: http://www.takeactionca.com/
Contact the Distributor:
    Distributor: California Department of Public Health
    Contact: Customer Service
    Mail: P.O. Box 997377, MS7204
Sacramento, CA 95899-7377
    E-mail: networkcustomerservice@cdph.ca.gov
    Order URL:http://www.championsforchangematerials.net
    Cost: 64.05 per kit
    Avail. in Qty: Yes
    Bulkrate:N/A

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