Finding time to work out becomes increasingly more difficult every year, the demands at work seem to increase as do the commitments for our busy children. That's why the Avera Heart Hospital is working hard to make sure their employees can get moving and motivated while they are at work. They won an award for their effort.
Deb Murray is a Respiratory Therapist at the Heart Hospital and Co-Chair of the Wellness Program. She says, "It's about a lifestyle change we are trying to promote with our employee wellness program. Eating correctly, exercising everyday and that's why we are having the walk today. Plus it's a kick-off the heart walk on Saturday, August 23rd."
They also try to come up with fun little incentives to get people moving throughout the hospital. One of them is a traveling gnome named Watson from Waistville. On a daily basis during the program you can find him hiding different places. If you are the first to find him you will be rewarded with a healthy treat.
Deb says, "Every year we do a twist on it, but still going back to the basics of exercise and diet."
Registered Dietitian and Co-Chair of the Wellness Program Nikki Ver Steeg says, "We are more concerned with waist and hip circumference than scale weight. We also do a diet quality index test on them to see if they are adequately nourished.
The Avera Heart Hospital started their Employee Wellness Program about 4 years ago. It lasts anywhere from 8 to 12 weeks and it really acts as a jumping off point.
Nikki says, "The benefits for the employees is they aren't paying for it. It cuts down on health care costs and they are able to take advantage of it at work. Plus, we encourage people to go on walks and have walking meetings. We really are trying to be motivators since that's the hardest part when you are making a lifestyle change."
It seems like a perfect fit for a fit friendly workplace. The Heart Hospital not only cares about it's patients hearts, but those who take of them.
If you want to show your commitment to heart health.. join the 2008 Sioux Falls Start! Heart Walk Saturday August 23rd at 9:00 am. Registration is at 8:00 am at Sertoma Park. Register by calling the American Heart Association (605) 334-9594.