Boost Productivity and Cut Costs with a Workplace Wellness Program
Photography provided by YMCA of Greater Cincinnati
We are increasingly becoming aware of the health risks that arise from living a sedentary lifestyle, yet many Americans still spend an inordinate amount of time seated behind desks. Lack of movement can equate to chronic conditions such as hypertension, obesity, depression or type 2 diabetes. But it doesn’t have to be this way: there are ample resources available to prevent these detrimental effects.
The YMCA of Greater Cincinnati, founded in 1853, is one of the original nonprofit holistic health and wellness organizations. Its goal is to promote the health of spirit, mind and body for all. Most people know the Y for the 13 branch locations throughout Greater Cincinnati, but it offers several engaging programs, including company-specific health initiatives at workplaces.
The program, called Workplace Wellness, is a comprehensive and convenient vehicle for companies to incorporate a healthier lifestyle within their organization. “We’re focusing on the needs of companies and employers by tailoring plans to fit their specific circumstances,” says Myrita Craig, the organization’s chief operating officer. “We want to make sure our region stays healthy.”
Pomeroy has partnered with the R.C. Durr YMCA in Burlington, Kentucky, for more than two years, providing wellness challenges and health fairs for its employees. Pomeroy opened an on-site wellness center in April 2015. YMCA staff members provide oversight of the day-to-day operations, teach fitness classes and offer wellness counseling for employees.
“We couldn’t be happier with the respect the YMCA has shown us, coming to our facility and making our employees feel comfortable,” says Drew Walters, benefits and HRIS manager with Pomeroy. “And our employees in turn appreciate the focus placed on their well-being.”
Approximately 140 of Pomeroy’s 500 employees are currently utilizing the wellness center and that number continues to climb. Six fitness classes are offered each week, including Zumba, yoga and a strength training class called Ripped. Walters says the most popular class, called Turbo, is a 30-minute format designed for employees during their lunch break. The facility’s basketball courts are popular during evening hours and a recently added walking trail is ideal for employees looking to get some fresh air during their workout.
These benefits don’t end at the Pomeroy facility – employee families are also included in the company’s program. “With employers, we know approximately 70 percent of their insurance expenses relates not to their employees, but to their employees’ families,” says Craig. “We focus on the entire family and offer preferred membership pricing for our workplace partners at YMCA branch locations to make sure everyone is involved in a health and wellness journey.”
For example, family members of Pomeroy employees receive member pricing on access to YMCA facilities and programs like swimming lessons, youth sports and kids’ camps.
Companies save money by having healthier employees. That seems like common sense, yet chronic illnesses like diabetes are at an epidemic level in the United States. An estimated 86 million Americans have pre-diabetes, according to the National Diabetes Education Program, and only 11 percent are aware of their risk. The YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) helps individuals at high risk for type 2 diabetes to reduce their chances of developing the disease. Research by the National Institutes of Health has proven that programs such as the Y’s DPP can reduce the number of type 2 diabetes cases by 58 percent. Program participants lose an average of six percent of their body weight, which is a key indicator of reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes.
“Once people have a chronic disease, the ongoing care becomes expensive. Prevention is powerful,” says Craig.
Healthy eating and exercise are two main components of lowering the risk of diabetes. Biometric screening is offered to encourage employees to understand their risk level. A trained lifestyle coach helps small groups of individuals through the DPP’s 25 sessions over the course of a year, tackling subjects like keys to healthy eating out, managing stress and staying motivated.
The YMCA is a comprehensive partner for any company, providing individual training sessions, leaders for walking groups, presentations for desk exercises and much more, depending on an individual company’s goals.
“It’s hard for people to make lasting changes unless they are well informed and provided with support to keep them accountable and ensure success,” says Craig. “The ROI is significant for the company, employees, families and the community.”
For more information about the workplace wellness program at YMCA, call 513.326.YMCA or visit their website at www.cincinnatiymca.org.
Pomeroy provides high quality IT infrastructure services to clients in the US, Canada, Latin America and Western Europe. The company’s corporate headquarters is located at 1020 Petersburg Road, Hebron, KY 41048. You can reach them at 859.586.0600 or visit their website at www.pomeroy.com.