It’s fashionable these days for executives to say they want their employees to be healthy. Employer-sponsored wellness initiatives are popular, and it’s easy to understand why, given the bottom-line benefits of reducing health-care costs. But how many executives actually work out alongside their workers?
At SAS, where employee wellness has long been a corporate priority, that’s become a more common sight of late. For example:
- Some SAS executives formed a team to compete with other employees in the company’s first Leanest Loser competition. The four-month program, which wraps up next week, challenged more than 100 employees and executives to take control of their health by developing better exercise and eating habits.
Each team was guided by nutritionists and a fitness trainer to learn simple ways to get and stay on track. Teams competed against one another to earn points for good nutrition choices, consistent exercise and pounds shed.
I lost 6½ pounds and formed habits that I hope will stick for years to come – eating more fruits and veggies, drinking more water and working out consistently. The workouts and lunchtime seminars were quite an investment of time. But I was encouraged to see executives make the same commitment.
- SAS co-founder and Executive Vice President John Sall, a familiar face at the company’s on-site fitness facilities and a Leanest Loser participant, recently pedaled a spin trainer alongside executives and employees for exercise and charity.On National Employee Health & Fitness Day, Sall and more than 100 employees generated donations for the American Cancer Society at a rate of $1 for every minute they pedaled. The SAS Spin for Life raised more than $2,700 to help the cancer society educate people on cancer prevention and the importance of early diagnosis. After Sall’s turn on the bike, he walked among the rows of spin trainers to encourage riders.
It’s great to work for a boss like that.
Photo captions: (top) John Sall addresses employees on National Employee Health and Fitness Day. (right) Sall participates in the SAS Spin for Life challenge.