What Is Certified Healthy Business?

Certified Healthy Business was created in 2003 to recognize Oklahoma businesses that promote health and wellness for their employees. Promotion of health and wellness can be done in a variety of ways including passing policies that encourage healthy lifestyles and making facilities available for physical activities. Any business, regardless of size, may apply for Certified Healthy Business status. The program is administered by the Oklahoma Turning Point Council and the Oklahoma State Department of Health, Center for the Advancement of Wellness.

Why Does Certified Healthy Matter?

Currently, the major causes of death and disability in Oklahoma are due to chronic conditions such as heart disease, cancer, stroke, and Type 2 diabetes, and a significant proportion of these conditions are preventable. Becoming a Certified Healthy Business, indicates you are providing a healthy environment for employees, thereby supporting better choices and an overall healthier Oklahoma. By meeting most or all of the criteria to become Certified Healthy, businesses provide an established environment to foster behavior modification, in addition to policy adoption and implementation. In doing so, risk factors for diseases such as high blood pressure, smoking, and sedentary habits are decreased, which are factors that are more likely to cost employers via absenteeism, disability, lost productivity, and the use of healthcare services (University of Michigan 2000). Additionally, Certified Healthy Business encourages the implementation of policies, programs, and procedures that touch not only employees, but visitors and employees’ families, as well. By providing a business environment rooted in evidence-based health and wellness principles, you are contributing to Oklahoma’s future.

The State of Health in Oklahoma

Oklahoma currently ranks 45 on America’s Health Rankings (2015). Our poor health outcomes are hurting our families, finances, and future.

  • From 1990 to 2010, life expectancy in the US has increased by 3.3 years; in the same time period, Oklahomans have only seen an increase of 0.9 years (OSDH 2014).
  • The leading cause of death in Oklahoma is heart disease. In fact, 1 in 4 Oklahoma deaths in 2012 was due to heart disease (OSDH 2014). Physical inactivity, poor nutrition, and smoking all contribute to heart disease.
  • In 2010, Oklahoma had the highest death rate due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in the nation. Cigarette smoking is the main cause of COPD and secondhand smoke contributes to the disease, as well (OSDH 2014).
  • Oklahoma has the 4th highest death rate in the US due to diabetes, and 90-95% of diabetes cases are categorized as Type 2 (OSDH 2014).

Chronic disease is often preventable, but Oklahomans’ health behaviors are contributing to the state’s chronic disease morbidity and mortality

  • Approximately 1 out of 2 Oklahomans eat less than one fruit daily, and 1 out of 4 eat less than one vegetable daily (BRFSS 2013).
  • More Oklahomans are overweight or obese than at a normal weight (68%) (BRFSS 2014).
  • More than 1 out of 4 Oklahomans gets no leisure-time physical activity (BRFSS 2014).
  • Approximately 1 out of 5 Oklahomans is a current smoker (BRFSS 2014).

Unhealthy eating, a sedentary lifestyle, and tobacco use are a recipe for chronic disease. However, we can work together to improve behaviors and the health of Oklahomans. The change starts with YOU!

During their time at work, adults have the opportunity to begin their journey toward a healthier lifestyle-including moving more, eating better, and being tobacco-free. The start of this journey provides a great opportunity to help people develop a lifelong culture of health. Likewise, visitors can also greatly benefit from healthy changes at worksites, including access to healthier onsite food, walking paths, and smoke free air.

Businesses that are Certified Healthy see a value and return on investment with decreased health costs, decreased absenteeism, increased productivity, and better morale among employees. In fact, wellness programs reduce preventable chronic diseases and lead to a 26% reduction in health care costs (Tobacco Free Kids 2014). By contributing to the wellness of those in your establishment, you are helping to create a better, brighter Oklahoma. Businesses that advocate for health are recognized as leaders in the community!



America’s Health Rankings. 2015. Oklahoma. State Data. Retrieved from http://www.americashealthrankings.org/OK.

Oklahoma State Department of Health. 2014. Indicator Report Cards. 2014 State of the State’s Health. Retrieved from http://www.ok.gov/health/pub/boh/state/SOSH%202014-Indicator%20Report%20Cards.pdf.

Oklahoma State Department of Health: Center for Health Statistics. 2013. Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Oklahoma Statistics on Health Available for Everyone (OK2SHARE). Retrieved from http://www.health.state.ok.us/stats/Health_Surveys/BRFSS/Statistics11.shtml.

Oklahoma State Department of Health: Center for Health Statistics. 2014. Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Oklahoma Statistics on Health Available for Everyone (OK2SHARE). Retrieved from http://www.health.state.ok.us/stats/Health_Surveys/BRFSS/Statistics11.shtml.

Tobacco Free Kids. 2014. The Toll of Tobacco in Oklahoma. The Toll of Tobacco in the United States. Retrieved from http://www.tobaccofreekids.org/facts_issues/toll_us/Oklahoma.

University of Michigan (Health Management Research Center). 2000. The Ultimate 20th Century Cost Benefit Analysis and Report: pages 1-39.