Arrowstreet worked with PKF Consulting on the Healthy Base Initiative for the Department of Defense, which studied innovative and affordable ways to make military installations healthier places to live and work for service members and their families. The project included pilot studies of initiatives that focused on aspects of healthy living, including the availability of healthy food, active recreation, active transportation and reduction of tobacco use. The focus of Arrowstreet’s work was the physical and built environment and how it can promote and enable an active and healthy lifestyle.
Part of the Initiative’s motivation was the reality that, like elsewhere, as more work becomes more computer-based, the workforce spends many hours per day sitting at their desks. Research has shown that including several short periods of physical activity throughout the day can contribute to overall fitness. That’s why StairWELL to Health, which was developed and tested for effectiveness by the Center for Disease Control, was pilot tested as part of HBI.
While the Initiative focused on 14 military installations, the scoring systems and lessons learned are applicable outside the military; like a suburban office park, a distressed downtown block or a university campus looking to make improvements that impact the quality of life and that promote and enable their occupants to lead healthy lifestyles. A focus on healthy design in the workplaces can also yield increased performance, profitability, and job satisfaction.