Dodgeland School Is Newest Blue Zones-Approved Worksite

(Juneau) The ribbon was cut Friday on the newest Blue Zones Project-approved worksite. The Dodgeland School District earned the designation after staff formed a wellness committee who used information from a well-being survey to identify challenges to employee health. Dodgeland’s well-being program is called Working on Wellness, or WOW, which is being used to improve worksite well-being. Activities to make the healthy choice, the easy choice, included a Purpose Workshop held during a staff in-service day. Yoga and square-dancing classes are offered onsite after school. Dodgeland also has a host of walking routes and fitness facilities, both indoors and outside, for staff and public use. Changes were made on campus that nudge people to make healthier choices. For example, the cafeteria food provided at Dodgeland aligns with the Blue Zones Project restaurant guidelines and signage is used throughout the building to encourage healthier habits. Finally, office personnel and teachers have workspaces that can be used in either the sitting or standing position. Superintendent Annette Thomson says becoming a Blue Zones Project-approved worksite is just a first step at Dodgeland. Plans are underway to expand efforts to improve the well-being of students as well. Thompson says, “student and staff well-being is paramount to school success” and Dodgeland’s participation with the Blue Zones Project provides the framework and focus. The Blue Zones Project, sponsored by the Beaver Dam Community Hospital, is a community-led well-being improvement initiative designed to make healthy choices easier through permanent changes to environment, policy, and social networks.