Joplin city government was recently given a Missouri Silver Level Workplace Wellness Award.

Those awards go to employers that proactively support employees who make decisions to positively support their health. Employers that provide wellness accommodations report higher employee retention and morale, lower absences, greater productivity, a safer work environment, and reduced health care costs. Many studies have also shown improved employee job satisfaction.

"Worksite wellness programs are a growing trend in businesses today focusing on multiple dimensions of well-being as a means of improving quality of life for employees," said Suzan Morang, community health planner/educator for the city of Joplin.

Topics covered in worksite wellness generally focus on chronic disease prevention, such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer, and they target changes that make it easier to be physically active, eat healthy, and improve spiritual, emotional and social well-being.

The Missouri Workplace Wellness Award is a collaboration of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, Missouri Council for Activity and Nutrition and the University of Missouri Extension. The program aims to bring an increased awareness about the importance of worksite wellness for employees.

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