Reporting Lisa Petrillo
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FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) — Millions of Americans suffer from the “sitting disease,” meaning you sit more and move less. Those with desk jobs are especially prone to obesity, stroke, or diabetes, resulting in rising healthcare costs.
As more and more companies look for ways to trim those costs, they’re increasingly making it easier for employees to get moving, like Mona Jordan who works in the Human Resources Department with Broward County.
After years of sitting at her desk, almost all of her work day, Mona got inspired to join the wellness program offered by Humana at her job.
“Well, actually I was inspired by someone who sent an email. She was talking about she had lost weight and how she’d really gotten on to it. She’s about my age. She’s in her fifties and I’m thinking if that girl can do it, I can too,” said Mona Jordan.
Now Mona can move at work.
A new treadmill station was recently installed by Humana at the Broward County Government offices in Fort Lauderdale and now she can work and exercise at the same time.
“It’s great because I can actually come here and do my work or I could do a conference call. Or you know anything, or I could meet with somebody down here and be on the treadmill talking to them,” explained Mona.
The wellness program also teaches employees about diet and exercise. Another motivator are the points participants can earn to use towards shopping. Points are a great incentive for Mona to get healthy.
“You know, I’m not going to eat a candy bar, I’m going to eat an apple. You know, because you have to put it into the program every day. And you get points and then you get to buy things with the points, and I like points!” said Mona.
Research shows that people who sit for most of the day are 54 percent more likely to have a heart attack. Now that Mona has the treadmill and the Wellness program she’s on her way to good health.
“I think it’s really getting you in touch with your health,” said Mona. “I’m 53-years old but my health, after I got assessed in the vitality assessment said I was 57. So, I decided right then, there are some things I need to change,” explained Mona.
Nurse Lisa Wright coordinates health education for Broward County employees. She said the entire program has made a big difference in the overall everyday productivity.
“It’s decreased absenteeism, members are healthier, claims are down, it’s a win-win situation,” said Wright. “They’re on board and they’re excited. The county wants their employees to be healthy.”