Six Ways a Weight Loss Challenge Improves Health and Bottom Line
Here’s one resolution any business should consider: Join the Weight Loss Challenge at the Michigan Athletic Club, a division of Sparrow.
The Weight Loss Challenge is a 12-week program in which personal trainers from the MAC tailor workout programs to a company’s goals and objectives. Employees work in small groups with a trainer, fostering teamwork and an atmosphere of mutual support.
Participants not only benefit from the unparalleled facilities at the MAC but also trainers will go on the road to worksites to rev up workers and get them excited about getting in shape.
The Weight Loss Challenge is designed to help employers make a real difference in the health of their employees. The program’s goals are to improve overall health in mid-Michigan, promote healthier lifestyles and, in turn, to decrease or stabilize annual healthcare costs.
Each Michigan worker loses 20 days per year due to physical inactivity. Sparrow is not just a leader in healthcare but also in wellness efforts because we understand the role that prevention pays in warding off chronic disease, such as diabetes.
The Weight Loss Challenge has helped companies:
1. Reduce healthcare costs
2. Reduce absenteeism
3. Reduce disability and workers’ compensation claims
4. Increase employee productivity
5. Build camaraderie and teamwork
6. Create an atmosphere of support for healthy living
The group exercise dynamic builds unity among employee participants. The whole culture of a company can change.
A fit workforce contributes to a more positive environment and simply more energy and attentiveness. There’s a joyful buzz that comes from a group workout routine.
“There has been constant chatter in the hallways and encouraging words—and, yes, a little competition—the past 10 weeks,” sa Karen Guiles of American Physicians Assurance Corporation, an East Lansing company that has participated in the program. “We have been excited to watch coworkers ‘shrink’ and see the successful glow in their own eyes.”
One Lansing-area company with approximately 1,500 employees has participated in the Weight Loss Challenge for nearly four years. The results are impressive. More than one-fourth of the company’s workers have been in the program, losing well over 16,000 pounds. The company reports absenteeism trending downward and its rising healthcare costs stabilizing.
Our trainers stay in constant contact with company managers, reporting the amount of weight lost by participants every week and working on a maintenance program once the challenge ends.
Our trainers are committed to educating workers about proper nutrition and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, regardless of age. We also simply want to get them moving so they can do the little things in life, like climbing the stairs or playing tennis again. We find that once participants reach their initial fitness goals they are hungry to do more—success breeds success.
As a division of Sparrow, the MAC is uniquely positioned to offer medically based health and fitness programs.
Just as each individual has unique health and fitness needs, so does every organization. At the MAC, we’re experienced in tailoring programs to specific needs. We can work with you to develop an employee wellness program that supports a healthier, happier and more productive workforce—and helps you manage your costs.
For more information about our Weight Loss Challenge, check out www.sparrow.org/mac or call 517-364-8888.
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Sabarras George is executive director of the Michigan Athletic Club and executive director – strategic wellness for Sparrow.