Employees Shed Pounds, Get Healthy and Lower Insurance Premiums
Date: November 5, 2010
Location: College Park, MD
Recognizing that taking preventive health measures is the key to offsetting future medical costs, Optimal Solutions Group, LLC (Optimal) recently began a program to encourage exercise and healthier living for its staff. In September, Optimal launched a creative health campaign, highlighted by the “Walk Fit” challenges.
“The new Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator, Dr. Donald Berwick, recently spoke about his ‘triple aims’ goals, including plans for improved national wellbeing, better patient experiences, and a reduction of per capita healthcare costs,” explains Optimal’s Chief Operation Officer, Tracye Turner. “Optimal has already taken on health initiatives, such as providing healthy snacks, flu shots, and coordinated outdoor activities for the staff. Following in this tradition, the ‘Walk Fit’ competitions are geared toward promoting healthier living through fun and inventive challenges.”
The “Walk Fit” challenge encourages staff to be more physically active during the day. Optimal staff were given pedometers and engaged in a friendly competition to record the highest total of steps. Currently in its second phase, staff members were grouped in teams and step totals are chronicled on a geographic map of the United States, with the ultimate goal of recording enough steps for the staff to have walked as a group from Optimal’s headquarters in College Park, Maryland to San Francisco, California.
Optimal’s staff has enthusiastically taken on both “Walk Fit” challenges. Walking to and from the local metro, using lunch breaks to go on nature walks, and being more mobile during work hours are some of the ways the staff have embraced taking healthier control over their lives.
“It turns into a win-win for all,” says Optimal Chief Executive Officer Mark Turner. “Not only are we able to practice what we preach, but hopefully a general improvement in the staff’s health will lead to more productivity.”