March 31, 2011

121 Fitness, Human Resources Encourage Better Health with Sponsored Programs

Woman eating appleBy now, you’ve heard about—and hopefully signed up for—the CWRU Spring Activity & Walking Challenge, which starts April 6. But 121 Fitness and the Department of Human Resources are doing more than simply challenging you to get fit—they’re giving you the tools to do it, through programs like the Get “Fit For Life” Challenge, the CWRU Employee Wellness Program and the soon-to-launch Weight Watchers Discount Program.

“Case Western Reserve University is committed to providing our employees with resources to make healthy decisions,” said Carolyn Gregory, vice president of human resources. “As part of this commitment, we want to make it easy for our employees to have access to a variety of wellness activities and programs.”

The Get “Fit for Life” Challenge is about to enter its third round, beginning April 4. More than 80 employees have taken part in the program since its introduction last fall. With Get Fit, employees can sign up for one of four different eight-week programs from 121 Fitness, and the university covers half of the costs for the first 20 employees who sign up for each program, explained Jamie Ryan, senior director of benefits in the Department of Human Resources.

Get Fit is divided into four tiers: the Basic Tier, which provides full access to the fitness center, without personal training or nutrition coaching; Take It Off, a nutrition-based program for those hoping to lose more than 20 lbs.; Choose to Lose, an exercise-based program ideal for people looking to lose 5-15 lbs.; and Get Active, designed for individuals wanting to tone up, build muscle or just become more regularly active, explained Sarah Ziance, program manager at 121 Fitness.  All participants get full access to 121 Fitness Center for eight weeks, plus a health risk assessment, weekly weigh-ins for weight-loss tiers, special classes and meetings, weekly motivational emails with tips, and prizes. Additionally, with Take It Off, individuals meet one on one with coaches once a week to discuss portion control, food pairings and more, while participants in Choose to Lose and Get Active work with fitness trainers once per week to develop workout guidelines to meet their goals, be they weight loss or building/toning muscle.

If you’re looking for overall health information, the CWRU Employee Wellness Program provides—completely free of charge to employees—monthly wellness seminars hosted by local health care professionals, cooking demonstrations led by Bon Appetit chefs, monthly activity classes and special programs and events. A monthly newsletter, which individuals can sign up for online, highlights all the month’s activities in addition to providing other wellness information.

The university will begin offering discounted rates for employees participating in Weight Watchers at Work on campus, with more details to be announced soon. Two groups currently meet on campus—on Wednesdays at Thwing Center and on Thursdays in the School of Nursing. Contact MaryAlice Grassa or Audrey Meier at Weight Watchers for information about joining.

The university is committed to improving the health of faculty and staff members, Ryan explained, because healthier employees are happier and more productive employees.

Additionally, Ziance pointed out, statistics show that when individuals eat well and exercise regularly, their productivity in the workplace is up and absenteeism is down. Plus, exercise has proven stress-relief benefits, which are extremely beneficial in the workplace. For example, 80 percent of workers feel stress on the job, and workers lose 550 million days due to stress.

For more information on the programs or to register, visit or click here.

Posted by: Emily Mayock, March 31, 2011 09:20 AM | News Topics:

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