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New wellness website aims to step-up community participation

Published On: Aug 06 2014 09:32:36 PM CDT
Updated On: Aug 06 2014 07:35:55 PM CDT

New wellness website aims to step up community participation

POCATELLO, Idaho -

The Portneuf Health Care Foundation is urging everyone to go take a hike...literally.

On Wednesday morning the foundation launched its new wellness website to get everyone in the community to become more physically active.

The foundation's CEO and President Shaun Menchaca said the launch of the 10,000 Steps Challenge in 2013 drew-in roughly 1,200 participants throughout the community, but it could have attracted even more if the old website wasn't so confusing to navigate through.

"The program we used last year was fun and exciting but there was a sense that people didn't understand which challenge they should be a part of, what they should join, and how they could move forward," Menchaca said.

So, the foundation launched its new beta version of the website which nixes those extra steps that aren't conducive toward helping people get healthy.

Business owner Jennifer Erchul helped create the new website, hoping the new simplicity could draw more people from around the community into participating in this year's wellness challenges.

"We needed this one to be a lot more simple and a lot more efficient," Erchul said. "People could log in and out quickly, track everything they are doing, and compete in the wellness challenges. But, they wouldn't have all the extraneous information that's not necessary to help somebody improve their health."

Menchaca also noted that people only address health care issues after they have become a prevalent problem.

"We are trying to move that upstream so people will work on prevention and solving health care problems before they become a problem," Menchaca said.

He said the foundation conducted a community health needs assessment a couple of years ago in order to identify the gaps in the community's health. It found that physical activity tops the charts when it comes to making the biggest impact in our community's wellness.

The foundation found that 67% of the workforce in the United States is obese, and companies spend roughly $73 billion each year of obesity among full-time employees. As stated on the website, "chronic disease drives health care expenditures, which cuts into company profits and productivity."

It also shows that 50% of company profits go toward health care costs.

Erchul is also a board member for the Portneuf Greenway Foundation and said she has noticed more of their meetings being held outside.

"Lots of times people are now starting to have meetings on the greenway. They are walking and it is improving creativity and communication because you're not sitting down, you're not getting tired, you're not getting bored," Erchul said.

You can visit the website here: http://www.letsbewell.org/home.aspx

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