As healthcare continues to be a hot topic on the hill, Chris Schell, owner of Echelon Custom Homes, has taken a different approach. Instead of waiting until employees are sick or unhealthy, he took measures to provide them with opportunities to get in better shape.
As the old saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” and investing in the welfare of one’s workforce may prove to be the most powerful medicine of all for America’s healthcare system.
Schell has always been a firm believer that people tend to be happier when they feel good about themselves, and he feels strongly that most people tend to be at their best when they are healthy and in shape. That’s why Chris decided to offer his employees the chance to enroll in my Corporate Energizing program designed to teach workers how to live a healthy lifestyle while getting in better shape through weight training, cardiovascular training and learning nutritional basics.
Chris even decided to pay for the program with one small catch: Anyone who failed to meet his or her fitness goals had to agree to pay the company back the full cost of the program. The program lasts 12 weeks, but Chris extended it for an additional month as a bonus for his employees, who trained with me as a team. At the end, Team Echelon did not disappoint. The eight participants lost a total of 140 pounds, 109 inches and an average of 10 percent body fat.
Other accomplishments included placing third and fifth in a competitive 5K race, winning a golf outing with a personal driving record, participating in a triathlon, reducing cholesterol and blood pressure and drastically improving overall appearances.
Several of the participants will continue on to compete in the Dewey Beach Sprint Triathlon Saturday, Sept. 19, while continuing to improve their overall shape. Rising healthcare costs have forced the private sector to look for better solutions to keeping employees healthy. I believe we will see more companies like Echelon take a personal interest in the welfare of their employees by providing healthy opportunities and education.