Get Fit, Get Healthy: Workplace Wellness

This is just a normal day in the Human Resources Department at War Memorial Hospital.        

This group gets up and moves for 3 minutes every hour.

Yoga is one way they do that and no one takes a second look.

It’s all part of the workplace wellness program here.

"I always considered my coworkers here at War Memorial as my family and now beginning in the Live Well Program and thing this that bond is so much more tighter because it’s now more on a personal level where we’re all coworkers, now we’re working out together, we’re meeting goals, setting goals,” Dawn Parker, Sept. Wellness Champ.

Dawn Parker embraced the Live Well Program last fall when her son got involved.

"It was hard to get going because you’re set to a certain lifestyle and then to change that up and drastically change that up was huge for me. But once I got motivated and got going, and got exercising and started feeling better, it was easy to do,” says Parker.

Her progress and the support she got here were great motivators.

She was named September’s Wellness Champ. A well-deserved honor.

"125 lbs to date so it’s huge,” says Parker. "It’s a new life it’s a whole new lifestyle I’m not used to this.”

"A wellness program is basically a wealth of resources and support for a group of individuals so you’re offering different ways of communication about wellness be it nutrition, activity mental health financial health all aspects of health we incorporate into a support system,” say Employee Wellness Manager Hillary Galarowic.

Hillary Galarowic is the Employee Wellness Manager here.

The program started in 2011 and has seen great success.

"We have about 1,000 employees we started with about a third of those participating in the wellness program now we’re at about half. We’ve seen increased engagement, increased morale,” says Galarowic.

Hillary works closely with Blue Cross Blue Shield, they have workplace wellness consultants across the state.

"We have wellness Consultants across Michigan that will work with companies, will help to assess their wellness programs and suggest certain ways or ideas on how to engage their employees. We have a lot of tools that are already built into their medical membership,”

It can be as simple as the basic bulletin boards, with recipes and opportunities to get moving.

Or providing healthy food and an atmosphere that encourages exercise.

She says it’s easier than many think and it starts at the top.

"If my boss is using their break and taking a quick walk then I know I can too and that’s what helped us,” says Galarowic.

Putting one foot in front of the other, the program showed Dawn she could do it and that encourages others too.

"It’s great, just little steps walking just walking taking time for yourself is so worth it you’re so worth it that’s what you need to know, we’re all worth it,” adds Parker.

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