Ingalls Shipbuilding Named Platinum Fit-Friendly Worksite

By George Backwell
Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Physically fit worker: File image

Ingalls Shipbuilding, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries, says it is doing its part to fight obesity and bolster the health of its employees. The shipyard's health-conscious changes have helped it succeed as a Platinum Fit-Friendly Worksite.

Fit-Friendly Worksites are recognized by the American Heart Association as employers who go above and beyond when it comes to employee health. These companies offer both nutritional services and physical activities aimed at supporting the employees' health.

"We are honored to receive this award," said Edmond E. Hughes, Ingalls' vice president of human resources and administration. "There were only four companies in the state of Mississippi to earn a Platinum status, so we are part of a very selective group in the state. We encourage healthy lifestyle choices through various initiatives, including our fitness center, healthy choices on the cafeteria menu, our 5K on the Causeway event, biannual racquetball tournaments and the 10-week Active for Life fitness challenge sponsored by the American Cancer Society. Personally, I participate in many of these events and encourage our shipbuilders to do the same."

Ingalls applied to be a Fit-Friendly Worksite for the second year in a row and recently was awarded a Platinum status. This status is given to worksites that implement physical and nutrition activities and demonstrate a behavior change or a cost savings outcome due to its wellness culture.

"Receiving this recognition for a second consecutive year is a testament of our continued commitment to the health and well-being of our employees and families," said Wendy Gruich, Ingalls' manager of health services. "Through our HealthWaves Wellness Program and on-site fitness center, employees are offered a variety of services, tools and health education to improve, manage and sustain good health."

The American Heart Association's goal is to reduce the rate of death by cardiovascular diseases and stroke by 20 percent and to improve the heart health of all Americans by 20 percent by the year 2020. For helping work toward this goal as a Fit-Friendly Worksite, Ingalls received an official recognition letter and recognition plaque.

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