Published August 21, 2012
Volume 20, Number 8

Sign Up for the Pleasanton Chamber’s Healthy Habits Challenge
The Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce’s Healthy Habits Challenge applies the familiar ancient proverb, “A journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step,” to a contemporary concern, the escalating costs of modern-day healthcare.

Designed to engage businesses, individuals. and families throughout the community, the campaign issues a simple challenge: Adopt one new healthy habit and practice it for 30 days. The habit can be anything from switching to low-fat milk, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or going for a regular bike ride. The idea is that once participants start to see a positive change, the approach will spill over into other areas of their lives, and improvements in health, happiness, and personal and workplace productivity will result.

“After a few weeks, there’s a high degree of probability that the change will become a habit, and that’s what we’re striving for all across the community,” comments Chamber Board Chair April Mitchell, who is also Director of Marketing for the Alameda County Fair.

The Chamber is involved because the healthcare issue is still “front and center for business,” explains CEO Scott Raty. As part of an ongoing effort to address the concerns of its members, the Chamber board was struck by a comment, at a panel discussion last year, that the only way to reverse the trend of rising healthcare costs is to reduce the incidence of chronic medical conditions. The best way to do this is by developing healthy habits. “Lifestyle decisions are the best bet for curbing runaway medical costs down the road,” Raty remarks.

To that end, the Chamber, in conjunction with the City of Pleasanton, kicked off the Healthy Habits Challenge at a mixer on August 8. It is not too late to jump on the bandwagon—registration is always open at www.pleasanton.org/healthy-habits.html. Social media postings keep the momentum going. Participants can post their suggestions, accomplishments, and photos on Pinterest boards and Facebook. Many businesses are promoting the campaign among their own workforce teams.

The campaign also showcases the multitude of local organizations involved in the medical arena, from Roche and Kaiser Permanente to ValleyCare Health System and Axis Community Health. According to Mitchell, “Our goal is to connect people to resources, especially in the business community, where so many are not aware of the fantastic programs our city, local nonprofits, and health care providers offer to help them live healthier lives.”

The Chamber will take stock of the anecdotes and best practices emerging from the challenge and share these insights at its next healthcare conference, coming up in the fall. “We are taking on the role of convenor, shining the spotlight on all our local resources,” Raty comments.

“When you look around and take stock of what’s here, it is not a real stretch to think of Pleasanton as becoming one of the healthiest places in the country.”


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