You won’t find your typical vending machine, packed with candy bars, cookies and chips, in our break room. No ice-cold, sugar-laden cans of soda will tumble into your waiting hand. We’re kind of healthy here.
Brianna Quiroga, our Administrative Assistant, is in charge of the snacks: “We have always focused on being healthy. Face it—as a company where we sit on our butts most the day, the least we can do is try to eat better.” Brianna keeps the break room well-stocked with fresh fruit, string cheese, yogurt and organic cereal. “I try to stick to foods that are made of actual food, not processed ingredients or additives. Foods that are real.”
Brianna is benefiting this company more than she knows. A 2008 study put out by Mayo Clinic Health Solutions cite some startling numbers. The study showed that just a one-unit increase in the Body Mass Index of overweight adults resulted in an additional $119.70 in medical costs and $82.60 in drug costs in 2007. The study also highlighted the huge difference even the smallest bit of exercise makes. Employees who are active just one day a week have 4.7% less medical costs than employees who are not active at all.
We weren’t aware of these statistics when we started up our in-office Biggest Loser contest or put a Wii in the break room, encouraged afternoon walks, or provided bicycles and helmets for out-of-office lunch breaks.
We just knew one thing: a healthier employee is a happier employee. Increased physical activity and a better diet means increased energy, a stronger immune system and lowered stress levels: all things we love to see in our colleagues.
We’re hoping these choices will make an impact outside of the office too. Remote worker Jose Gamero spent some quality time training in-office. When asked for one thing he took away from his time here, he replied, “I think grabbing a piece of fruit or bit of cheese instead of something unhealthy keeps you a little more alert and feeling better. I think I am going to try to keep certain snacks more available and try to steer away from snacks that may lead to a tiring afternoon.”
Warms our heart.