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Stressing fitness at work
Column writer - Sain.jpg

Health and wellness is an ever-growing topic in our society. It is one of the most searched topics in every social media platform because everyone wants to know the secret to getting healthy.  

It’s only when our health is taken from us that we realize nothing else matters. Hard-earned money, expensive cars and nice vacations are of no use to us if our bodies can’t be healthy enough to enjoy them. However we spend so much of our time and energy chasing financial well-being that we neglect our personal health and fitness.  

Typical families have both parents working 8+ hours, or the ever-increasing single parents working double shifts. So many of us wish for ways to balance good health more into our lives. The secret that we each seek is to look through different glasses and finally understand our health can be a liability or it can be an asset -- just like our finances.  

Poor health can erase the value of what we work so hard for, or good health can bring even more value to every aspect of our lives. Health, career and family are three things that will always overlap each other, and true happiness requires a balance of all three. 

It only makes sense to bring wellness into the workplace where the average person spends over 70 percent of their time on a daily basis. Over the past 12 years as I have worked in the health and wellness industry in Atlanta, I have observed larger cities and companies are evolving to promote healthier lifestyles.  

Research shows that companies which support employee health and wellness have as a result less employee turnover and lower health insurance costs, and they produce more reliable, more productive and happier employees who, in turn, save the company money. It’s a win-win situation.

Keith Hayes, CEO of VIAM Manufacturing in Manchester, has been a step ahead of the game by realizing that in order to have a healthy, growing business he needed to have a healthy, growing community of people within that business. Keith began in 2008 with the installation of a full fitness center at VIAM that is comparable to commercial gyms, and it is available 24 hours to all employees.  

In 2012, VIAM added an on-site medical clinic with nurse practitioner Vickie Jones, which employees and their immediate family members utilize with no co-pay. With the 2014 addition of a chiropractor practice with doctors Brad Schapiro and Samuel Ables, the results for VIAM have been healthier workers who miss less time for sickness and doctor visits due to more accessible wellness care.  

Finally in 2017, Keith and VIAM took an innovative leap that catapulted them ahead of what even larger companies in more populous geographic areas are doing. VIAM employs me as a full-time health and wellness coach who offers nutrition and fitness programs and conducts twice daily group exercise classes for employees. Together we form this full circle of VIAM Health Team leaders who work together to help offer employees a higher physical, mental, and spiritual well-being that builds a healthier person both at work and at home. 

The health care costs saved by these proactive measures led to VIAM going to a fully self-funded employee health coverage, and this has reaped even more cost savings in a time when national healthcare costs are skyrocketing in the other direction.

Hats off to VIAM! If the employees are healthier and happier then the company will also be healthier.  

Lis Sain is VIAM’s corporate health coach.