Corporate WellnessIssue 24 • May 2014

It’s About Progress Not Perfection

Experienced athletes know to warm up and stretch prior to starting their daily workout. Unison Industries also understands the value of stretching before employees start a shift that requires fine motor skills. That’s why they conduct stretch classes specifically designed for production workers who use the same muscles throughout the day at their job. A morning site walk also attracts 65 to 75 employees three days a week, but if that’s not your thing, how about Free Fruit Tuesday, when – you guessed it – free fruit is available to all employees!

These activities are all part of the globally-recognized HealthAhead corporate wellness program supported by Unison Industries and their parent company, GE. The program’s mission is to establish a work environment that promotes healthy lifestyles for employees and their families. With a wide range of elements that include education, tobacco cessation, physical activity, stress management and nutrition, it’s a program that has something for everyone at the 580-employee site.

The community also benefits from Unison employee support of the annual Corporate 5K, the Heart Walk and the March for Babies. Partnering with local schools and non-profit organizations allows Unison and its employees to host and assist with student play days.

Are all of these health and fitness activities just another employee benefit, or does Unison benefit as well? In the six years since the program began employees are paying more attention to their health and seeking out health-conscious food and activity options. According to Corporate Wellness magazine (11/2011) every $1 invested in health promotion realizes a $4 – $5 benefit, lower absenteeism and lower turnover.

Whatever the benefit, Unison employees are looking forward to the annual HealthAhead Day, a themed-day of competitions, planned health and fitness activities and fun freebies.

Read how employees David Clark and Sean Vowell have benefited directly from Fitness by Patty’s Fit Camp, offered through the program.

No More Meds! – David Clark

When David started the Fit Camp offered through the HealthAhead program he was on four prescriptions, lacked energy and needed to lose weight. Through the corporate wellness program David has participated in fitness challenges where baseline measurements are taken at the beginning of the challenge and again at the end to see where improvements should focus.

And focus he did! A year later as a result of his consistent participation and incorporating nutritional guidance from the program, he’s reduced his BMI, achieved considerable weight loss and realized increased energy. Of course there is plenty of evidence that those accomplishments contribute to improved health. There has also been financial impact to both David and his employer. David now only takes 1 prescription of only half the dosage he was on a year ago, making David, his doctor and his employer happy.

Being Accountable – Sean Vowell

“I was tired of being tired.” said Sean Vowell as he related how his journey began six months ago to recapture the fitness he had known in high school and college. He attributes his success primarily to two changes: determination to make lifestyle changes and the encouragement of Patty Soud, Fit Camp trainer at Unison Industries. Now when shopping for groceries, he senses Patty looking over his shoulder and holding him accountable for his choices.

As a former martial arts athlete, Sean knows the feeling and benefits of being fit and healthy. But life happened and the next thing Sean knew he was out of shape. He was influenced to regain his fitness by co-worker David Clark and posters promoting the HealthAhead Fit Camp that is held 2 afternoons a week at the work site. Since September he has only missed one workout and has lost more than 20 pounds towards achieving his goal weight of 200 lbs.

Leigh Gardner

Leigh Gardner

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