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7/19/13

Get Active: Incorporating Fitness into Work Routines

By Helen Winter, Senior Recruiter 

Originally posted in the July issue of C@reer Connections. You may sign up to receive this monthly e-newsletter.                           

Early to bed, early to rise makes a man (or woman!) healthy, wealthy and wise! True, right? Yes, of course our beloved Ben Franklin would never steer us wrong! He may not have mentioned nutrition, fitness or stress management, but we know he was thinking full circle. 

In fact, today it is estimated that as much as 75 percent of total U.S. healthcare spending is for people with chronic conditions. Moreover, just four health risks (tobacco use, poor nutrition, lack of physical activity, and excessive alcohol consumption) are responsible for much of this chronic disease burden.                            

As such, employers recognize the impact of an unhealthy workforce on work production and economics. To improve the health of workers, many employers are now partnering to assist their employees in making healthy lifestyle choices, which often result in additional benefits such as improved teamwork, enthusiasm and creativity.                           

At Sodexo, we are committed to the nutrition, health and wellness of our clients and their customers. Therefore, we entered a new marketing agreement with MyFitnessPal to connect our nutrition database of thousands of chef-developed, signature Sodexo recipes with the market-leading MyFitnessPal application. This effort makes it easy for Sodexo consumers to keep track of their personal nutrition objectives whether dining with Sodexo, at home or at their favorite restaurant.                         

Sodexo's commitment to making every day a better day does not stop at servicing our clients and customers, but also extends to supporting our employees as we get out there and get moving!                           

One example that makes me proud is my own department within Sodexo, the Talent Acquisition Group! Our department is Sodexo's in-house recruitment organization with about 100 employees who work virtually across the U.S. As employees who work from our home offices, we don't have a commute to the office or a need to walk through the office building each day, which means that our physical activity level is naturally lower.

To increase our physical activity and overall health, our department has engaged in training sessions on health and wellness, and we've incorporated a 10-minute exercise segment to our weekly department conference call. Additionally, we gave each recruiter a Fitbit pedometer this year to help each person set goals and become more aware of their physical activity. By creating a Fitbit Talent Acquisition online community, we have also provided them with a supportive environment and made it fun for them to work towards achieving their fitness goals. And for those employees with a competitive nature, we have a leader board to track results and compete for monthly prizes.                            

Like many members of the U.S. workforce, we sit much too much! Employers like Sodexo who support their employees' efforts toward achieving a healthy lifestyle receive an untold return on their investment. As Ben Franklin said, "Well done is better than well said." 

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