Monday, May 19, 2008

What's the Best Way to Fight Obesity?

“A couple of years ago, Virginia Utility Protection Service President and Chief Executive Officer Rick Pevarski looked in the mirror and decided he could stand to lose a few pounds. You look at that [reflection], and you can see the trending going in the wrong direction because you are sedentary,’ Pevarski said. ‘I lost 30 pounds.’ The weight loss proved to be more than just a personal accomplishment. It also became a catalyst for a companywide commitment to health wellness. Since 2007, VUPS has invested $10,000 to outfit an exercise room with treadmills, an elliptical machine and a big-screen television. It has offered employees health assessments and monthly wellness talks. And, beginning in February, VUPS has participated in a work site weight control study conducted by Virginia Tech's newly established Center for Translational Obesity Research. VUPS is now one of 16 area businesses that have agreed to participate in the project. Employees have already changed daily habits. Long term, employees aren't the only ones who stand to benefit from increased attention to health and fitness.
According to a report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, workplace physical activity programs can reduce short-term sick leave by 6 percent to 32 percent, reduce health care costs by 20 percent to 55 percent, and increase productivity by 2 percent to 52 percent.”

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