Corporate H&F

Corporate Health & Fitness Consulting

With the percentage of overweight and obese Americans growing each year, the development/improvement of company Health and Fitness programs should be a top concern for businesses of all sizes. A company’s employees are its greatest assets, and their physical fitness will lead to your fiscal fitness. A well designed and managed Health & Fitness program should be a main ingredient of any effective overall corporate wellness program.  This can save businesses millions of dollars every year by improving the overall health and general happiness of their workforce.

Pictured above is the 2011-2012 Albemarle Corporation Half-Marathon and Marathon Team. The company saw 87 employees, as well as their family members participate in the Inaugural Louisiana Marathon & Half-Marathon. They also incorporated in-house yoga and fitness classes, nutritional seminars, and other healthy living oppurtunities.

I have been working with Baton Rouge Businesses for the past 5 years helping them to improve existing programs and develop new ones based on their individual short and long term goals. Each program is developed through a collaboration of thoughts, ideas, and goals between myself and the each of my clients, making each experience totally unique. Some programs last a few months, while most extend through a 12 month period. For more information please fill out the form below and i’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Wells Fargo on the benefits of an effective corporate wellness Program.

Work it Good

Employers take a role in office fitness

By Kendra R. Chamberlain

Published February 29, 2012

No matter what you think about ObamaCare, no one can argue that healthcare costs are very high right now.

Health insurance has quickly become a no-win situation for both employees and employers. No one wants to foot the ever-increasing bill for insurance coverage.

Here in Baton Rouge, one man has a great solution. Denver Benton helps companies develop corporate wellness programs that both benefit employees and reduce healthcare costs for the employer.

“I think all companies can be more active in their employees’ health,” Benton said in an interview last week. “Because that’s their bread and butter – their employees.”

Benton is part of a growing national trend in corporations to tackle healthcare through prevention. From offering yoga classes at lunch to building a weight room in the basement, more and more business are taking an active role in the health of their employees – and the employees are loving it.

Developing a wellness program

Benton has been developing personal wellness programs for a while. He’s a professional running coach, a fitness consultant, and he teaches the occasional fitness class. About a year and a half ago, Benton turned his attention, and skill set, to corporations.

“There’s such a need for corporate wellness programs,” he said. “Most places don’t offer anything to their employees. I saw a need for it.”

Benton said he first became interested in the idea when a friend of his working at Albermarle approached him.

“They wanted to provide more to their employees, more than just a discount at the gym,” he said.

He sat down with Maria Rowland, communications program manager at Albermarle Corporation, and head of the wellness committee there.

“We started the emphasis on wellness, just because of healthcare costs,” Rowland said.

“We started bringing in [Benton] to do boot camp.”

Benton primarily establishes a fitness program for the company that employees can easily manage.

“Whether they want someone to come in and do yoga twice a week, or they want a running coach to come in and do a half marathon class. I just do the logistics of that,” he explained. “You sit down with people, and you say, ‘What do you want to do?’ and I tell them what’s doable and what’s not doable. Most things are doable, more than they even imagine. Then, I help them to build a program around what they want.”

The response he has gotten over the past year has been outstanding.

“About a year and a half, I’ve been working with a good bit of business around town,” he said. “It takes a little while to develop the programs. I might take one company for like a month. I’m working with about five or six companies right now.”

Getting employees to use it

A corporate wellness program is only as good as the number of employees that use it.

“The key to all of this if you can have it convenient to the employees, they’ll do it,” said Rowland.

Keeping employees engaged can be just as challenging as the workouts themselves. Albermarle’s program uses wellness challenges – contests that incentivize staying active, eating healthfully and losing weight.

For example, the company hosts eight-week rounds of challenge. Employees get points for how many pounds they lose during the round, or how many fruits and vegetables they eat every day. The wellness program incorporates group activities with personal challenges, allowing individuals to choose how they participate. Employees can compete as “floors” – as in the employees on the second floor are competing against the other floors to get the most points.

“The group aspect has really worked,” Rowland said. “At both sites we do our challenges at the same time, and last year, both sites lost together over 700 pounds.”

The program has also shifted attention to employee nutrition, and even what types of foods are offered in the break rooms.

Rowland said that her committee uses visual cues to keep people focused on what they eat – like displaying the amount of sugar in a candy bar in a bowl.

“It’s all about what it’s home with people – when you see that much sugar.”

Rowland said her committee is also looking at making sugary items in the vending machines more expensive, to discourage poor snack choices.

“Employee nutrition our main thing,” Rowland said. “It’s great that we loose all this weight, but we got to keep it off.”

Albermarle’s wellness program has become a great model for other companies to look to. The program is widely successful, the employees are becoming healthier and healthier, and they’ve even organized their own marathon events for employees.

It is catching on,” Rowland said. “It started out just me and the nurse, and now we have a whole committee.”

Not just for the Fortune 500s

Corporate wellness programs have recently trended across the country for larger corporations, and companies in Baton Rouge are finally beginning to hop on the bandwagon.

“I’m the only person in the last few years to do it [here],” Benton said. “It’s just that companies are now ready to do it. I guarantee, give it a year and a half, there will probably be other people getting involved.”

Wellness programs aren’t just for fortune 500 companies, either. In 2010, the federal government offered up $200 million to help small business develop and implement their own wellness programs. The grant, will be administered over five years, targets business with fewer than 100 employees and that didn’t have a wellness program in place. The program also will allow employers to offer reward payments of up to 30 percent of the cost of insurance coverage to workers who participate in the wellness program, and even meet certain health goals.
“It’s an evolving thing,” Benton said.

As mentioned above, there are pretty significant savings to be had in health care costs. That’s something that makes wellness programs interesting to both small business and larger, national companies.

“It helps you reduce your company’s healthcare costs, and it helps your employees see that you care,” Benton said. “If you’re doing a wellness program, you’re doing it because you want people to be healthy and happy. Everybody needs one, they just don’t know where to start.”

Five reasons to get fit for work

If you are lucky enough to work for a company that offers a wellness program, take advantage!

Here’s why:

• Beat the 2:30 p.m. valley: Don’t you hate it when you drink a pot of coffee and are still falling asleep at your desk after lunch? Work out more, and you will be less tired (and probably drinking less coffee).

• Get sick less often: We all know what that means: more “sick” days that are actually fun days.

• Look Good. There’s nothing worse for your ego than the old desk-job derriere. Work it off and flaunt it at happy hour.

• Look good to your boss: You’ll earn major brownie points for being a team player – even outside of the office.

• Make new friends! A team challenge is a great way to get to know your coworkers better, and even to make some after-hours friends.

Examples of Successful H&F Programs

Union Pacific Railroad

Union Pacific Railroad’s self-care initiative program saved the company $1.26 million in health care costs, returning $2.77 for every dollar spent during the program’s first year in 1990. The company offers a smoking cessation program, a fitness center at its headquarters, health awareness promotion and individual counseling. In five years, the company lowered its health care costs for its 57,000 employees by more than 17 percent. Union Pacific estimated the company saved three times that figure in improved productivity as employees reduced high blood pressure, high cholesterol, lost weight and quit smoking in significant numbers.

Lab Safety Supply

Lab Safety Supply realized a 97 percent decrease in lost workdays after instituting a wellness program that included fitness and self-education programs, health fairs and counseling, safety training, insurance liaison services and medical screenings.

Lincoln Plating Company

Lincoln Plating Company has spent $85,000 on employee wellness and estimates its return on investment at $800,000 stemming from a 50 percent decrease in injuries and related workers’ compensation costs. The company attributes a significant decline in injuries to a pre-work stretching program. Lincoln estimates the company has reduced annual turnover by as much as 35 percent. These figures do not include decreased absenteeism and increased productivity.

Miami Valley Hospital

After instituting health and wellness programs, Miami Valley Hospital reduced lifestyle risk factors in employees in 11 of 14 categories such as cholesterol, coronary disease, weight and blood pressure.


DuPont Corporation

The DuPont Corporation conservatively estimated their annual cost for excess illness among employees at $70.8 million. After instituting a wellness program, the company reduced disability days by 14 percent among blue collar workers over a two-year period, resulting in an 11,726 decrease in disability days. The company’s Tennessee plant reduced disability wages by $119,000 annually. The program focuses on weight control and fitness, reducing blood pressure and stress management, and smoking cessation.

Pacfic Bell

Pacific Bell saved $2 million in absenteeism costs in one year and $4.7 million on short-term disability leave with its FitWorks wellness program. The program offers cholesterol and blood pressure screenings, discounts on home exercise equipment, a video library, pregnancy and prenatal counseling, smoking cessation and coronary risk modification programs.

Good Articles about Corporate Health and Fitness Programs

The Advantages of Corporate Fitness Programs – Wellness programs save businesses millions of dollars every year by improving the health of workers. A key component of wellness programs is physical fitness, which not only improves muscle and cardiovascular strength, but also helps decrease instances of diseases and conditions and the related work issues caused by those problems. When companies run the numbers, they see that worker physical fitness translates into corporate fiscal fitness.

Read more:

Cost-Effective Wellness Programs – Wellness programs can have positive effects on corporate employees, which can lead to higher morale, increased loyalty and improved teamwork. For some managers, the justification for such programs is based solely on return on investment. Case studies of Fortune 500 companies and other businesses leave no doubt that wellness programs can save much more than they cost.

Read more:

Benefits of Corporate Fitness – Investing in employee fitness is more than a good public relations move or morale builder for businesses. Depending on how far you expand your definition of fitness, corporate wellness program spending can produce a healthy return on investment, according to multiple surveys and case studies cited by organizations such as the Wellness Council of America.
Read more:

Wellness Programs for the Workplace – Corporate wellness programs provide myriad benefits to businesses by providing many physical and emotional tools for employees. A physically fit workforce means fewer workdays lost to ailments such as lower back pain. Workers with reduced stress are more productive because they can focus better on their work. Companies have lowered costs and improved productivity with wellness programs implemented in the workplace.

Read more:

More Good Reads:

Wellness Council of America: Building a Well Workplace

Du Pont Links Wellness Program to Reduced Absenteeism

Characteristics of Successful Wellness Programs

Washington Post: Corporate Fitness Programs Survive Hard Times

Atlanta Journal Constitution: A Healthy Work Environment

Salvation Army’s new Headquarters Highlights New Emphasis on Fitness

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