It's too bad companies don't offer recess to employees, but Mercy Health did just that on Wednesday as part of National Employee Health and Fitness Day.
To mark the occasion, the entire Mercy Health System brought in hula hoops and funky music, and encouraged employees to take all the time they wanted to breathe some fresh air, work up a sweat, and see for themselves what a workout is.
Employee wellness, however, is not new to Mercy. Its "healthification" program has been in place for several years, so the chance to get out and move is always encouraged.
"We spend so much time at work," says registered nurse Marilyn Hill. "We have such a captive audience. If we don't instill them in some of those ideas while they're at work, then all they see are the commercials for the other side of the equation which causes them not to be healthy. So we really want to get the message out, let them know we care about them, we care about their health."
"So many people come out and say, 'I can't do it. I'm just going to do it on my arm,'" says Mercy Wellness Coordinator Alyssa Cochara. "I say, 'Just try it,' and they do it and they love it. So many people have said, 'This is a lot more work than I thought it was going to be. I'm actually sweating.' It's really been a positive reaction with the co-workers."
As an incentive, there was a reward: earbuds for working out!
Hula-hooping can burn a couple hundred calories in a 30-minute session. It's low impact and great for balance, too. It's far less expensive than most fitness equipment.