*Reprinted with permission from the Kansas City Business Journal
Description: ARC Physical Therapy+ provides physical and occupational therapy, corporate wellness and workers’ compensation care.
Year founded: 2003
Wellness highlights: This past year, 86 percent of our employees participated in our wellness program and 63 percent achieved an “ideal” health score based on nine biometric categories. Moreover, 83 percent of our employees received a BMI less than 30, and 61 percent either maintained or improved their wellness score from the previous year.
Response: We have been fortunate to have a group of employees who truly care about their health. When we initially launched our online wellness portal, RedefineWellness.com, in 2008, our employees immediately demonstrated full support and dedication by volunteering to participate in various testing methods and pilot programs. Today, employees participate in our wellness program and use our portal to access health articles, exercise videos and one-on-one health coaching. More than that, they issue internal challenges and act as a support system for one another by offering personal tips and success stories.
Technology: A key component of our wellness program is our online wellness portal, RedefineWellness.com. It provides employees with a personalized wellness profile based on the results of their annual health screen and individual HRA. It can be assessed remotely at any time.
Additionally, it provides aggregate reports for administrative and human resource personnel, including data regarding employee participation and change over time.
Incentives: We offer quarterly wellness challenges that focus on anything from drinking more water to increasing physical ability. Typically, we provide cash incentives or gift cards to finalists but also focus some of our challenges on individual improvement. We also reimburse employees up to 50 percent of the entry fee for any community race/fitness event in which they choose to participate.
Administrative Assistant Susan Severin’s story:
“In the spring of 2014, I was a very unhappy, overweight, 42-year-old divorced mother of two. I was embarrassed for my children to be seen with me, as I was considered morbidly obese according to my BMI and body fat percentage.
“My friends and co-workers all seemed happy. They were loving life and looking great. Meanwhile, I was not loving anything, especially myself.
“Then, in June 2014, our quarterly wellness challenge was announced at work. Normally, I cringed at the thought, but this challenge was different. It focused on challenging ourselves, individually, rather than one another. We were evaluated on our initial fitness ability and re-evaluated at the end of nine weeks to see if we had improved.
“Fed up and tired of my own excuses, I went into the corporate gym on June 16, and accepted the challenge with 100 percent dedication. I set an initial goal to fit into a dress I had not worn since May 2009.
“Over the next nine weeks, I went into the gym five days a week over my lunch. I quickly found myself achieving things I had not ever done before like running on a treadmill or lifting weights. At the end of the nine weeks, my scores doubled, and in September 2004, I wore ‘that dress’ to work for the first time in years.
“More than that, when I went to see my doctor, she was amazed by my progress. My cholesterol had dropped 70 points, and my BMI and body fat percentage had also drastically improved. I had lost 30 pounds and gained muscle!
“As of January 2015, I am excited to say that I am a very happy, 43-year-old mother of two beautiful daughters. I am on week 29, down nearly 60 pounds and getting stronger every day.
“I do not believe I would be where I am today without my ARC Physical Therapy+ family. They provided me with a gym, resources and time. More than that, they were my support system. In the beginning of all of this, I was approached by a co-worker who helped ‘coach’ me. He took the time to explain all of the pieces that must work together to form a healthy lifestyle and helped me realize that there is really no excuse not to work out, eat right and live life to the fullest. In addition to his help, many of my co-workers also worked out alongside me and encouraged me.
“I am fortunate to work for a company that realizes that a happy, healthy person is also a happy, healthy employee–and for that, I am truly grateful.”
ASK THE EXPERTS ADVICE
ARC Physical Therapy+ offers tips for employers looking to improve their corporate wellness efforts.
Successful wellness programs focus on more than just biometrics. Their leaders promote an overall culture of mental health by encouraging employees to give back, work together and celebrate each other’s success. Moreover, they focus on the total well-being of employees by incorporating a preventative risk and occupational safety component.