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Monday, May 19, 2008

Loving Wellness!

This fiscal year (April '08 - March '09), my organization is launching a full-scale wellness initiative. It started last October with a health fair that found that a large number of individuals who attended the fair had an above average percentage of body fat, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. But, attendance and participation in the event also showed that people were interested in learning about their health and doing something about it.

Following this health fair, we decided to have a personal trainer come in and offer employer-paid 1/2 hour sessions in our building's fitness center. The response was overwhelming. We started with one full day of sessions, and ended up bringing the trainer back for two additional days. Then as part of our new fiscal year's budget, we allocated funds to have the trainer back every other week throughout the year.

This week, we will start group courses with Cheryl Mirabella from Living Whole Health. These courses address healthy eating habits and excerise and how to incorporate these principles into your everyday life. I spent 1/2 hour on the phone with Cheryl last week and she has already given me some simple advice to start utilizing before the course even starts. We'll be having her in for three 12-week sessions throughout this fiscal year.

We also offer on-site yoga, open gym time for team activities and subsidized seated massage.

Last year our health insurance premiums actually decreased because our health insurance claims went down so dramatically. We are hoping that investing those dollars in a focus on wellness will make that trend continue.

What types of wellness initiatives are your companies taking?

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