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Businesses continue push to get employees moving in 2018

Posted at 7:00 AM, Jan 01, 2018

2018 will undoubtedly bring all sorts of advancements when it comes to health and wellness. And one thing more and more companies are starting to do is to empower us to take control for ourselves. 

Being a 911 dispatcher is no easy task.  

"This job can be very stressful," says Janet Dennehy.  

That's why after Dennehy takes her toughest calls, you might find her on her stair stepper.  

"So it's what we do when we're bored or need that break," Dennehy says.  

She steps, and she spins in her small office.  

"Just to get better mindset, to become healthier and just to have a good time," Dennehy says.  

Next door Sara Forbes' Fitbit reminds her it's time to get moving, every hour on the hour. She meets up with her coworkers, and they start walking right where they are. Step, after step, after step.

The goal? 250 steps, at least.  

"It just gets up and gives your mind a mental break as well as a physical break because you need to get up and stop looking at the screen and go and have your mind on something else," Forbes says. "And talking about what people are doing for the holidays, or where you're going on a trip and it's just a good thing."  

For Dennehy, the results have been really good.

"I personally lost 20 pounds," Dennehy says.  

And to think it may have been business as usual, if their jobs didn't give them that extra incentive to get moving.  

"They're on the job because they're healthier and they have a great attitude when they feel good," says Melissa Greiner, who manages employees at the City Of Black Hawk, Colorado.

The city partnered with their health care provider Kaiser Permanente to develop "Maintain Don't Gain," an eight week program that gives employees weekly challenges, tips and resources to stay at their current weight or less.

You get cash when you sign up and if you finish at or below your current weight.  

"Employees want to be healthy," Greiner says. "And we want to provide them opportunities to incorporate wellness into their daily work routine. And the payoff is threefold."  

Employees feel good and are more engaged. That ultimately creates a more productive workforce and boosts the employer's bottom line. And Kaiser Permanente says it has seen improved health markers in its employees since adopting the program.

So consider small steps you can take, and things around you you can use to create a new you in the New Year.

It may be a company wellness program.

"If it's offered with any employer grab it," Dennehy says. "Do it."  

Or it could be a group of friends and a flight of stairs.