The federal government is investing $869,000 in a workplace wellness project that aims to engage 6,000 employees at nine Montreal-area companies in health promotion.

The $2.2-million project, Activate Your Health, is led by Capsana, a Quebec-based organization dedicated to promoting health and preventing chronic disease. A survey conducted by Capsana among 20 companies between 2012 and 2014 found 69 per cent of employees would benefit from being more active, while 74 per cent would benefit from improving their diets.

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“This project will contribute to improving workplace environments to facilitate the adoption of a healthier lifestyle to help prevent chronic diseases and obesity,” said Dr. Louise Gagnon, co-president and founder of Capsana, in a news release.

To kick off the project, participants will be invited to complete a health risk assessment questionnaire to get a personalized health score and action plan. They will take part in a six-week health challenge aimed at eating healthier, being more active and maintaining balance, and blood pressure, body weight and blood sugar levels will also be assessed.

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Participating employers will choose a level of support that reflects the needs of their employees, including tracking objectives, personalized menus, fitness capsules, a local activity finder and motivational tips, according to the news release. Their overall progress will be measured once annually for three years.

The federal government funding is through the Public Health Agency of Canada’s multi-sectoral partnerships program to promote healthy living and prevent chronic disease. “Many adults spend a majority of their day in the workplace,” said Minister of Health Jane Philpott.

“Creating a culture of wellness by promoting physical activity, reducing sedentary behaviour and encouraging healthy eating on the job can have positive impacts on the well-being of employees, organizations and society as a whole.”

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Copyright © 2018 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com

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