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Policies and Practices

Healthy Places by Design's organizational policies and practices provide a foundation for modeling the strategies, interventions, and behaviors we seek to improve in the communities with which we work.
  • Our office environment offers accessible options for routine physical activity and healthy eating.
  • We choose vendors and meeting sites that offer accessible options for routine physical activity and healthy eating.
  • We provide supports to encourage routine physical activity, including but not limited to: subsidizing gym memberships; providing flex time for physical activity; offering up to two hours weekly of paid work time for physical activity; providing access to safe and inviting stairwells; encouraging walking meetings and physical activity breaks during extended meetings; and using public or active transportation when possible.
  • We identify and offer options to accommodate individuals with varying levels of ability so all employees can fully participate in group physical activities.
  • We provide supports to encourage healthy eating, including offering healthy snacks and beverages in reasonably-sized portions at meetings and events that we facilitate; providing healthy choices for celebrations, such as birthdays and holidays; and encouraging non-food related celebrations such as those incorporating physical activity and the arts.
  • We commit to a “no dumping” policy in which we avoid bringing candy, cookies, cakes, and other foods and beverages of limited nutritional value into the office for group consumption.
  • We accommodate individuals with food allergies or other dietary restrictions so everyone has options for healthy eating.
  • We encourage good stewardship to the environment by avoiding the purchase of bottled or canned beverages when healthy options are available in bulk (e.g., pitchers of water rather than individual bottles); selecting food and beverages packed in recyclable containers when possible; choosing locally-grown food when healthy, affordable options exist; and reducing, reusing, and recycling in order to generate less waste.
  • We encourage the use of language that is positive, encouraging, and supportive of healthy attitudes and behaviors (e.g., referring to the “bike rack” rather than “parking lot” when identifying issues to be discussed at a later time).
  • We do not offer food or physical activity as a gift, prize reward, or penalty (e.g., while food may be provided at meetings, we do not use it as an enticement for attendance; we do not routinely cancel or delay planned breaks for physical activity due to work-related interruptions).
Sources:
  1. Eat Smart North Carolina: Guidelines for Healthy Foods and Beverages at Meetings, Gatherings and Events. NC Department of Health and Human Services.http://www.eatsmartmovemorenc.com/HealthyMeetingGuide/HealthyMeetingGuide.html
  2. Guidelines for Offering Healthy Foods at Meetings, Seminars and Catered Events. University of Minnesota School of Public Health. http://www.sph.umn.edu/pdf/news/pubs/NutritionGuide2009.pdf
  3. Setting the Bar: Recommendations for Food and Beverage Industry Action. Strategic Alliance.http://eatbettermovemore.org/sa/fruit/settingthebar.pdf
  4. ChooseMyPlate.gov. US Department of Agriculture. http://www.choosemyplate.gov/
  5. Physical Activity and Health: A Report from the Surgeon General. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/sgr/fact.htm