Program Expanded To Provide Incentives To Encourage Healthier Lifestyles
Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe (D) and state health officials on Thursdayannounced that a pilot program offering some state employees time offfor making lifestyle changes that improve their health will be extendedto all state employees, the AP/Long Island Newsday reports.
TheArkansas Healthy Lifestyle program was established in 2004 byRepublican presidential candidate and former Gov. Mike Huckabee (R).Employees who participate in the voluntary program -- which focuses onincreasing physical activity, increasing consumption of fruits andvegetables and decreasing or eliminating the use of tobacco products --can earn up to three extra days off from work. According to healthofficials, the program will save the state money by reducing the numberof days workers miss because of illness, as well as the health carecosts related to unhealthy habits.
The pilot program was available to state Department of Health and Department of Human Servicesemployees. Since its inception, 2,500 people have registered for theprogram and 947 have earned days off (DeMillo, AP/Long Island Newsday, 11/8).
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