. - HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Horry County Government is launching a brand-new program aimed at getting employees happy, healthy and fit.
The county expects its new county-wide health and wellness program to boost morale and help keep everyone safe and healthy.
Right now, a small group planning the program is working on picking a mission statement and deciding on the official name.
The purpose is to have a year-round wellness program, with classes on nutrition, fitness and changes to the workplace so that it better suits employees' well-being.
There could be competitions, or recognition and prizes for certain employees who get involved and see results.
"We're going to always try to do some sort of recognition, whether it be through vouchers, or wining a prize or recognition monthly," said Michael Medeiros, wellness coordinator for Horry County Fire Rescue.
Medeiros helped come up with the idea for the wellness program. The group planning it sent out a survey to gather information from every employee in the county.
"Starting from there, we'll also know what areas that folks are really needing or wanting some more help with," Medeiros said.
They found county employees have been looking for something to improve wellness, such as more information about diets and more accessibility to workout areas or local gyms, according to Medeiros.
The program is intended to boost morale and get employees healthy. As a result, the county expects health insurance costs will go down because healthy and fit employees will have less illness and injury. Medeiros anticipated that it will more than pay off.
"The studies are there, the science is there," Medeiros said. "The healthier work force you have, the more productivity, but also the more money you have in your budgets. When you decrease healthcare costs, you decrease workman's comp. You're healthier and you're not getting sick as much, you're not getting hurt as much, you're not seeing the doctor as much. You're not having to take those extra days of sick leave. So now, you're on the job."
The program should begin sometime in May.