The majority of people spend more than eight hours, or a third of their time, at work each day. How they spend this time can make a big difference in their health. Healthy people are more productive, require fewer sick days and have fewer health associated costs. When working in close quarters (ah, the cubicle life) every day, how can you stay healthy? It starts with your company!
Companies like Farm Bureau Financial have developed programs that allow staying healthy to be simple for their employees. This year, Farm Bureau rolled out a new Health and Wellness Program. Xtreme Revolution has been tremendously popular with over 100 Farm Bureau employees participating. The program is a nine week high intensity interval training series that meets five days a week. Employees complete 5 steps in the process:
- Schedule initial Assessment—Coaches take simple baseline measurements that include resting heart rate, blood pressure, weight, body fat percentage, and circumference measurements
- Attend orientation—Employees learn about the vital nutrition component of the program
- Set goals—Employees decide what they want to feel like or look like at the end of nine weeks
- WORKOUT—Xtreme revolution is designed with both modifications and advanced moves for any fitness level
- Check in—Employees check in each week to make sure they are on the right track to accomplish their goals
The program is greatly appreciated by its participants, “I enjoy the class atmosphere, I love knocking out a good workout by 6:30 AM, and I really enjoy the accountability that comes with it. It is incredibly motivating to wake up in the morning and hustle over to the office, knowing that several people would notice my absence–and that I have a perfect attendance streak through five weeks that I don’t want to break.” Classes are offered five times daily both before and after work so that all employees can find a convenient time to work out. Over the course of nine weeks, this year’s group lost a total of 348.85 pounds with the average participant losing 5.6 pounds and 1.3% of body fat. Strength gains were also seen. The average participant could do 11.5 more push-ups and 9 more sit-ups after the program.
Employees were given a great deal of support and materials for success. Xtreme travel tips were distributed for those employees that had to travel for work and needed to make-up a workout in their hotel room. Healthy recipes were provided to ensure healthy eating, and a lunch series with Hy-Vee dieticians was given on-site to encourage resources for healthy meal prep at home.
Nutrition is a vital component in any wellness program. Farm Bureau works hard to provide easy access to healthy food for their employees, “Promoting healthy food options is at the forefront of the companies’ mind.” The company offers a ‘Mindful’ food program in their cafeteria that makes choosing healthy food options second nature. Entrees in this line must be less than 550 calories, 35% calories from fat, 100 mg of cholesterol, and 700 mg of sodium. Healthy vending options are also offered. Farm Bureau offers a refrigerated vending machine that dispenses skim milk, carrots, hummus, and apples. Their non-refrigerated vending machines have 25% healthy options. For the past two years, the company has even offered an on-site Farmers’ Market to purchase healthy fruits and vegetables. Employees are easily able to purchase fresh and nutritious produce at least once a week in a convenient way.
The Healthiest State Initiative is so impressed with the many positive steps Farm Bureau is taking to better their work environment. Because this company is so mindful of making healthy solutions easy for employees, their employees are happier and healthier than ever, “I may not be the biggest loser, but overall I feel like a winner because I know my health is improved!” Awesome job, Farm Bureau! If you’d like to learn how to start healthy programs at your company, contact Kelsey, one of Farm Bureau’s Wellness Specialists, to learn how their company got started.