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The comprehensive school-site health promotion for staff is one of the eight components in the Coordinated School Health Program model. It is designed to maintain and improve the overall physical, emotional, and mental health and well-being of school staff and employees. By improving the overall health of employees and staff, their increased positive moral would, in turn, increase their personal commitment, as role models, to the health of students. Health promotion for staff includes programs that promote:

  • health assessment and screening
  • good nutrition
  • weight control
  • fitness and aerobic activities
  • stress management
  • knowledge of first aid
  • safety awareness
  • disease and disability prevention
  • education for faculty and staff.

These programs encourage school staff and employees to pursue a healthy lifestyle that would contribute to their positive morale. These health promotion activities have improved staff and employee productivity, decreased absenteeism, and reduced the overall health insurance costs.



  • 1 uses cocaine
  • 10 are heavy drinkers (two or more of beer, wine, liquor a day)
  • 60 sit all day to do their work
  • 10 have high blood pressure
  • 25 or more have high blood cholesterol ( over 200 mg/dl)
  • 50 don't wear their seat belt regularly
  • 30 smoke
  • 27 have cardiovascular disease
  • 35 are overweight by 20% or more
  • 50 feel under moderate stress
  • 5 have diagnosed diabetes and 5 have undiagnosed diabetes
  • 7 use marijuana Source Health, Wealthy & Wise




Research has shown:

  • staff morale is higher

  • health care costs are reduced

  • lower employee absenteeism rates

  • higher productivity

  • staff who are healthy and fit make better role models for students and their families.




In the book Health is Academic nine steps are outlined:

1. Initiate the idea

2. Establish a team

3. Assess needs and current activities

4. Set goals and objectives and develop a plan

5. Identify materials and activities

6. Organize logistics

7. Publicize and promote the program

8. Keep people involved

9. Evaluate the program




  • Set up a staff health promotion library, stocked with books on stress, exercise, nutrition, diet, fitness and health periodicals, and free health brochures.. Most health agencies have materials you can get for free, ie. American Heart, Lung and Cancer .

  • Arrange a day of free blood pressure checks. A local hospital, health department would be a good place to contact for this service. The agency conducting the screening should have free brochures on hypertension, stroke, and heart attack available.

  • Arrange for a staff aerobics class before or after school.

  • Start a walking/running club at school. Measure distances both inside and outside to equal 1 mile. Have a competition each semester to see who walks the most miles. Give recognition.

  • Coordinate activity partners - Have staff fill out index cards that lists type of activity, level of ability, age group, time of day available and phone number. Make this info available so partners can be matched.

  • Invest in a good scale and put it in a high traffic area so staff can monitor their own weight

  • Invite Weight Watchers to hold meetings in your building ü Promote the use of stairs.

  • Host regular staff recreational activities - skiing, softball, volleyball. Have staff/parent competitive events.

  • Offer health back classes

  • Start a "quitters" support group to help people who have quit smoking

  • Offer smoking cessation classes at your site, with the help of the American Lung Association.

  • Participate in the Great American SmokeOut by the American Cancer Society

  • Invite a reputable speaker (local college or health agency) to speak once a month on subjects such as stress-management, time-management, death and dying, "burnout", coping with loss, financial management, and single parenthood.

  • If your district has an employee assistance program, publicize it and encourage staff to take advantage of its services.

  • Offer defensive driving, first-aid, and CPR classes

  • Encourage friendly "competition" between departments or grade levels - pounds lost, new nonsmokers, miles walked, etc.

  • Provide First Aid and CPR training classes




What do red hot chili peppers, chocolate peppermint smoothies, and cartoons have in common? They were all used as attention grabbers in a staff wellness program for three elementary schools in Scott County.

Joyce Ellis, a nurse working with the Family Resource Center, coordinated this wellness outreach program during the 1999-2000 school year. Joyce said she got the idea to focus on staff wellness after she had done cholesterol and diabetes screenings for the staff the year before. They were so appreciative of the "special care" they received Joyce wanted to do something more.

The staff wellness team choose to focus on three areas:

1. Osteoporosis

2. Menopause

3. Breast and testicular cancer

Ideas were brain stormed about the best time to connect with the school staffs. Both certified and classified staff were included in the event. The final decision - during lunch period. Notice was given to the staff by a brief presentation at a staff meeting, putting announcements in mailboxes, and reminders on the p.a. system. Educational handout material was gathered from agencies or produced by the team.

They prepared a colorful, creative table top display for each health topic using cardboard presentation boards. Tasty samples and door prizes were rounded up. Each topic was presented at each site 2-4 days depending on the size of the staff. The staff brought their lunch into the designated area and was able to spend time in small groups learning about each topic. The first month was devoted to breast and testicular cancer, the second month to osteoporosis, and the third to osteoporosis.

BREAST/TESTICULAR CANCER - breast and testicle models were bought from a grant that the team had received from participating in the KY Coordinated School Health Institute. Participants were instructed in how to do self exams and were given shower cards with instructions for breast exams on one side and testicular exams on the reverse side. Information on mammograms and risk factors was discussed. Drink and dessert were provided by the team. Video shown and personal health risk worksheets completed.

MENOPAUSE - a string of flashing red hot chili pepper lights were the attention grabbers for the menopause display. Managing Menopause Magazines, donated by a local ob/gyn doctor, were available for participants. Red hot candies were the finishing touch. Information on ERT and HRT was available. Video shown.

OSTEOPOROSIS - Samples of chocolate flavored calcium chews were provided. Participants sampled snacks that were high in calcium. Yogurt dip with veggies and chocolate-peppermint smoothies were served and a recipe book was also provided with several high calcium recipes. Video shown and personal health risk worksheet completed.

Participants were asked to fill out evaluations after the presentations and to suggest additional topics of interest. Comments included "It was very relaxing to sit and casually ask questions, in an informal setting" "I enjoyed the informal, small group atmosphere where I felt more comfortable to ask questions." Topics suggested for future events were skin cancer, nutrition, exercise, relaxation/stress , proper rest, blood pressure, and tobacco cessation.

Joyce says it is important to know the "personality" of your school as you plan a wellness outreach event. Make sure it is convenient, both time and place, for the staff. Make the learning environment pleasant. They put cloth table covers on the tables with fresh flowers. Utilize your community resources. Be creative and have FUN.

You may contact Joyce for more details at or 502-535-6611.




Are you doing a staff wellness program? Please share with us. E-mail your information to KASH at .



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