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FOR RELEASE: September 15 , 2005
CONTACT: Pamela Williams
Office of Communications
405/271-5601

Family Fitness is not a Mission Impossible
Worksites Set Example for Family Health & Fitness

Raising fit kids in today’s “remote control” society often seems like an assignment from mission impossible. Studies show a fitness-to-fatness revolution in the American family over the past decade, but if parents choose to accept the mission, they will discover that family fitness IS possible.

Local organizations can participate in Family Health & Fitness Day on Saturday, Sept. 24, by promoting family involvement in physical activity. This event was started in response to the U.S. Surgeon General’s Report on Physical Activity and Health. The report highlighted the health benefits of moderate, regular physical activity.

To set an example, The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) sponsors a wellness program for health department employees. Many worksite wellness coordinators in health departments throughout Oklahoma meet in quarterly videoconferences to learn about wellness activities and programs, and they make it their mission to share the news. As a result, they promote a variety of family friendly fitness options in their area and as ongoing worksite activities.

One worksite wellness coordinator says the program helps state employees set an example and promote fitness within the community. “I’ve enjoyed learning what is going on in the counties and seeing what they are doing to be healthy,” said Ardith Sheaffer, worksite coordinator for the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program. “If we aren’t healthy and don’t practice what we preach, it doesn’t set a good example.”

Good examples in the workplace can lead to good examples in the home and community. Oklahoma parents are encouraged to accept the challenge and make their family’s fitness a mission that is possible to achieve.

To learn more about Family Health and Fitness Day, visit this Web site: http://www.fitnessday.com/family. To learn about the OSDH worksite wellness program, contact Melissa Adair, WIC relations and information specialist, at 405/271-4676 ext. 50027.

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