Free Worksite Wellness Education Program Offered in Polk, Dallas, Warren and Madison Counties

Wellbeing isn’t something you simply achieve and check off a bucket list. Instead, it’s an ongoing journey that varies with each person. Iowans can find their own way to wellbeing in a new program from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.
“What About Me? My Wellbeing” is a four-week series of 45-minute, research-based educational workshops that Extension instructors are offering free to local businesses and community organizations.
“With 25% of Iowa adults suffering from obesity, inactivity or heart disease, health insurance premiums have increased 8.4% on average among all Iowa employers in 2018,” said ISU Extension Human Sciences Specialist Mary Krisco.
The cost of employee health insurance, and the reduced productivity associated with stress and chronic illness, Krisco said, provide strong incentives for employers to encourage their employees to engage in healthy behaviors. Studies have shown that workplace wellness programs have had statistically significant impacts on the health behaviors of those who participate in them.
“Many larger Iowa companies now offer worksite wellness programs as part of their employee benefits package,” Krisco said. “However, smaller firms, such as the 91,000 in Iowa that employ fewer than 100 employees each, are six times less likely to offer such programs, due to insufficient resources.”
To help these smaller companies promote the health of their employees, ISU Extension has decided to offer a free, introductory health course called “What About Me? My Wellbeing.”   The course is intended to enhance adult individual wellbeing and quality of life in ways that are personally meaningful to participants.
The four, 45-minute sessions cover three areas of wellbeing and how they interact:

  •  Time for Me - Understanding wellbeing
  •  Social/Emotional Wellbeing - Building strong relationships
  •  Financial Wellbeing - Managing your money
  •  Physical Wellbeing - Enjoying good health and energy

During each session, participants engage in hands-on activities and discussion. Each session closes with participants developing personal plans for their own wellbeing in a particular area.
“Wellbeing is not an end, it’s a journey. Your needs will fluctuate depending on where you are in your life. This program can be applied at any point,” said Krisco.
“It’s all about taking time out of your busy schedule to reflect on the lifestyle choices you’re making to meet your own goals for your emotional, financial and physical health. This is not about us telling you what you should be doing. It’s about you figuring out what you should be doing based on your own individual goals,” she said.
“People who take the course will learn some surprising new information about what makes a person ‘well’,” she added, “but what’s more important is that the program gives people the tools to start working on their own wellbeing,”
To arrange to have “What About Me? My Wellbeing” workshop series presented at your workplace, church, or community organization, contact Mary Krisco at 515-957-5787 or The program works best for small groups of eight to 25 people who are able to commit to attending the 45-minute session at the same time each week for four weeks in a row. Worksite supervisors and organization leaders need to encourage and support attendance.
Mary Krisco,, 515-957-5787.
View the flyer here.

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