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4J Benefits and Wellness Newsletter – February 2020 – Issue 318

Eugene Education Association - EEA

Prepared by Jamie Myers • 541-790-7682 • myers_j@4j.lane.edu • February 21, 2020 • Issue Number 318


Come on down to the 4J Ed Center Auditorium to find the inspiration you need to reach your health and fitness goals this year. This is a drop-in style event designed for you to connect with organizations focused on wellness. Whatever your self-care needs may be, we’ve got you covered: Fitness centers, medical and dental resources, physical therapy, weight loss, and more! Oh, and don’t forget the fabulous prizes worth tens of dollars!

Who: ALL 4J employees and their families

Date: February 25, 2020

Time: 4:00 -6:00 p.m.

Place: 4J Ed Center Auditorium, 200 N. Monroe


Count to two. Done? In the time it took you to count, someone in the United States needed blood to survive. Okay, now think of three people you love. Can you picture them? Well, one of them will need a lifesaving transfusion during their lifetime. Maybe you already know someone whose life was saved by donated blood? I do.

4J and Bloodworks Northwest are hosting a blood drive in March. Your blood donation has the potential to save three lives. Bloodworks only supports hospitals here in the Pacific Northwest, so your donation could directly impact a friend, relative, or neighbor. It takes 800 donors each day to maintain a four-day supply of blood.

Date: March 4, 2020

Time: 2:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Place: 4J Ed Center Parking Lot

If you can’t make it on March 4, consider donating at Bloodworks’ Eugene Center. It is located at 2211 Willamette Street in Eugene. Call 1-800-398-7888 to schedule your opportunity to save a life…or three!


Now is your opportunity to join the Sick Leave Bank! Our second enrollment period of 2019-20 is underway, and will be open until April 3, 2020. If you aren’t sure of your status, shoot me an email at myers_j@4j.lane.edu, and I will promptly get back to you with the date of your last donation, whether or not you are an active member, and when you will need to donate another day to maintain your membership.

To maintain active membership, you must donate at least one day (prorated to your FTE) every two years. You may donate up to 16 hours per year regardless of whether or not you need to donate to maintain your active status in the bank.


Valentine hearts shouldn’t be the only heart focus during the month of February. It is also Heart Health Month, so this is a great time to assess whether or not your ticker is in top-notch condition. Here are few factors to consider when thinking about your heart health.

Cholesterol levels: Lowering cholesterol levels by only 10% reduces your heart attack risk by 20% to 30%. A few ideas to try:

  • Stick to unsaturated fats found in fish, nuts, and vegetable oils.
  • Choose whole grains high in fiber.
  • Eat more colorful fruits and veggies, and swap low- or no-fat dairy for the full-fat options.

Blood pressure: Normal blood pressure is less than 120/80. The higher your blood pressure, the greater your risk of suffering a heart attack or heart failure. If you have mildly elevated blood pressure, you might be able to lower it by eating less salt and increasing your potassium intake.

Overweight: People who carry excess weight have increased risk of developing heart disease. If you’ve noticed your numbers creeping up the scale, it’s time to pay attention and try to bring them back down. Start by setting a realistic goal. No one is going to lose 25 pounds in a week. Focus on taking off about 5% of your starting weight.

If you’ve been struggling to shed those extra pounds on your own, consider taking advantage of the WW (Weight Watchers) benefit through OEBB. This is available at no cost to you.

Visit https://www.weightwatchers.com/us/OEBB to get started.

Get Active: Adding as few as 15 minutes of activity into your daily routine can make a difference when it comes to your heart health. Start with what you are able to do, and add on as you get stronger.

PSA for the TSA

When were you hired as a teacher in 4J? Think hard. Was it after 1998? If so, you are eligible to receive FREE MONEY from the District in a Tax Sheltered Annuity (403b) account. This was bargained into your contract as part of the Plan B retirement benefit from 4J. There is one thing you must do. That’s right, just one thing. All you have to do is set up the account with one of 4J’s approved vendors, and you can start saving for retirement. You don’t have to contribute even one dollar of your own money. This account is separate from PERS, so no matter what changes the Oregon Legislature makes to PERS, your 403b account will not be touched. Don’t let another month go by without claiming this benefit! If you need help, give me a call. I would love to help you get started.


Exercise is safe for almost everyone — even people with chronic disease and disabilities.

Different types of exercise have complementary benefits, for example:

Aerobic activity involves movement of the large muscles of the body for sustained periods of time.

Muscle-strengthening activity improves muscle strength, endurance, power, and mass.

Bone-strengthening activity improves bone health and strength.

Balance activity can reduce fall risk.

Multicomponent physical activity includes at least two of the above types of activity.

Activities have different levels of intensity, and rating the levels is easy to do. Light activity doesn’t feel like exertion at all. Moderate activity allows you to talk comfortably, but not sing. With intense activity, you can say only a few words.

Children and teens (6 through 17 years) should have at least 60 minutes daily of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity; include vigorous activity, muscle-strengthening, and bone-strengthening activity three times a week.

Adults need at least 150 to 300 minutes weekly of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, or 75 to 150 minutes weekly of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity, or an equivalent combination of both, plus muscle-strengthening activities on at least two days a week.

Older adults benefit from multicomponent physical activities that mix balance activities, aerobic activities, and strength training that can help prevent falls and injuries; reduce overall sitting and replace it with light (or when possible, moderate) activity.

Adults with chronic conditions or disabilities should follow adult guidelines as able, including both aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities.

*Elsen, Lauren. “The New Exercise Guidelines: Any Changes for you?” Harvard Health Blog, June 25, 2019.

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