For the fourth year in a row, Policy Research Associates, Inc. has been recognized by the American Heart Association (AHA) in its annual Workplace Health Achievement Index. By continuing to innovate in its approach to supporting health and wellness in the office, PRA has achieved its second silver-level recognition in a row! PRA encourages healthy lifestyle choices every day by providing employees with a health-conscious, tobacco-free environment enriched with ample opportunities for physical exercise, access to fresh, healthy food, and a range of activities to support overall wellbeing. PRA’s WellStaff Committee introduced a number of new offerings this year, from infused water to regular chair massages offered on site, to expand on the company’s enduring support for employees’ health and wellness.
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY SUPPORT
OFFICE BIKE SHARE
PRA has two bikes available for employees to ride on their Strategic Renewals or speed up errands around town. The bikes are a perfect way to enjoy the Albany County Rail Trail, which runs right behind the office!
PRA STEP CHALLENGE FOR MENTAL HEALTH MONTH
During May, Mental Health Awareness Month, we again succeeded in our goal to collectively take 10 million steps between May 1 to May 31. This year, not only did we increase knowledge of the mental health benefits of regular moderate exercise, we encouraged and celebrated employees’ physical wellness, with a total of 13,947,277 steps walked—nearly 4 million more than last year!
CULTURE OF FITNESS
PRA supports a thriving workplace culture of fitness. Employees frequently use their daily strategic renewals to take a walk, go for group runs, bike, or enjoy other forms of physical activity. We also offer a Weight Loss Challenge in the office that allows employees to set goals and support each other in reaching them, and each spring we celebrate those participating in the Workforce Challenge 5k by creating a custom t-shirt for PRA’s team.
PRA offers a Wellness Reimbursement benefit for employees, reimbursing 50 percent of wellness-related purchases up to $500 per year, with a maximum annual reimbursement of $250. Wellness-related expenses can include race fees, fitness classes, new sneakers, and more!
Employees from all different program areas make up this wellness committee, which is responsible for organizing wellness programs for staff to participate in, maintaining the wellness page on PRA’s Intranet, and creating a wellness board.
QUARTERLY CHAIR MASSAGE
Once a quarter, employees have the opportunity to unwind with a professional chair massage, offered in the relaxing environment of PRA’s lounge.
FIRST AID/CPR/AED CLASS
Bi-annually, PRA hosts an onsite First Aid/CPR/AED class for all employees who are interested in being certified. This class has a strong showing, with roughly 10 employees being certified (or recertified) each session.
FLU SHOT CLINIC
Each year, in October, PRA hosts a flu shot clinic for its employees, providing easy, timely access to the flu vaccine so they’re ready for the coming flu season. The clinic uses the insurance offered by PRA’s employee benefits and helps ensure that employees who are interested can receive that year’s vaccine.
PRA’s lounge is reserved for a mindfulness session 4 days a week, led by a volunteer staff member, providing employees with a chance to destress and get centered.
New in 2019, WellStaff@PRA organized a hydration challenge to encourage employees to drink water and stay hydrated during the hot summer months. To support water consumption, a volunteer staff member created daily fruit- and herb-infused water (including herbs from the PRA Community Garden!), and made it available to staff. The infused water is now a mainstay in the kitchens at PRA Headquarters.
In addition to providing delicious fresh fruits and vegetables for employees to eat, the community garden next to our parking lot offers a great opportunity to get outdoors during the workday. This year we are growing herbs, peas, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, and more!
FIELD GOODS DELIVERY
Each week for the past 4 years, PRA has been a delivery site for Field Goods, a program that delivers local produce and healthy recipes to businesses along the Hudson River. Field Goods is a great way to expose yourself to new and healthy foods and support local farms at the same time. PRA also keeps both of its kitchens stocked with weekly supplies of fresh fruit, offering peckish staff the option of a healthy snack.
PRA maintains a tobacco-free policy, which:
- Prohibits the use of all tobacco products within the office building
- Designates outdoor smoking areas that are at least 25 feet from worksite entrances
- Informs employees of the tobacco-free policy through the company handbook, as well as informs visitors of the policy through informational signage
- Provides employees access to smoking cessation materials, resources, and treatment
PRA remains a supporter of Quit Big Tobacco.
Policy Research works hard to foster our culture of wellness in the workplace and is proud to be an awardee for the fourth year running. Thank you to the American Heart Association for recognizing us!