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DC Department of Health Leads by Example and Launches Worksite Wellness Program for Staff

Tuesday, May 24, 2011
DOH provide health education and fitness opportunities for employees.

(Washington, DC) – The DC Department of Health (DOH) launched an agency-wide worksite wellness campaign with a morning of fitness and health education for DOH employees today. The kick-off event featured nutritional demonstrations and a preview of physical activities such as walking, line and hand dancing, Zumba and Tai Chi that will be offered regularly for DOH employees at little or no cost.  The DOH Worksite Wellness campaign is part of Mayor Vincent C. Gray’s initiative Creating a Culture of Health and Safety in the Workplace. 

“This is an excellent chance for DOH employees to get fit, get active and participate in a program that can have a longstanding impact on their health and wellness,” said DOH Director, Dr. Mohammad Akhter.  “As public health servants we need to lead by example.  By coming together as One City, we can empower one another to change unhealthy behaviors and adopt more active lifestyles for the sake of ourselves, loved ones and the community we serve.” 

Employees were able to try out six physical fitness activities that will become regularly scheduled events facilitated by DOH. Additionally, educational materials were available on nutrition, local walking groups, Department of Parks and Recreation swim classes, and other exercise opportunities in the District.

DOH also introduced the Instant Recess program aimed at increasing physical activity and reducing obesity.  Instant Recess kicked-off its 12 week pilot program today in conjunction with Worksite Wellness at DOH and the District of Columbia Department of Employee Services offices.  

Instant Recess encourages people to get together in groups throughout the course of their day and get in 30 minutes of physical activity in 10 minute segments.   Studies indicate that exercising 10 minutes at a time, three times a day can improve blood pressure, weight, mood, attention span and overall productivity. 

For more information on Worksite Wellness and other DOH health and wellness initiatives and programs, visit