SHRM’s HR Magazine: Employers Encouraging Workers to Get Moving

Sep 5, 2012
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Workplace fitness programs gain momentum in effort to improve employee health and well-being

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Sept. 5, 2012 — The September edition of the Society for Human Resource Management’s HR Magazine documents employers’ new focus on fitness — efforts to combat obesity and sedentary lifestyles that impact employees’ health and raise health care costs.

In the magazine’s September cover story, “Get Moving,” Contributing Editor Susan J. Wells reports that employers of all sizes are encouraging their employees to include fitness in their daily routines, even at work. She cites SHRM’s 2012 Employee Benefits Survey Report, which shows that 20 percent of organizations offer on-site fitness classes.

The article highlights examples of this movement, including the “Recess is Back” campaign by Keen, a Portland, Ore., footwear manufacturer, and the addition of outdoor walking tracks at Renfro Corp., a Mount Airy, N.C., manufacturer. At Kansas-based Sprint Nextel Corp., 14,000 employees participated in a Get Fit Challenge and collectively lost 41,000 pounds in 12 weeks.

Wells examines the results of fitness initiatives for today’s employees, whose jobs often require little physical activity. For employers facing increased health care costs because of rising obesity rates, the article notes, “Encouraging employee fitness can shape up your bottom line.”

An “Active at Work” photo gallery features images submitted by SHRM members from Connecticut — where Owl Computing Technologies in Ridgefield has yoga classes — to California — where Alameda County Medical Center in San Leandro offers weekly workout classes.

The cover story and photo slideshow are available in the digital edition of HR Magazine. As a service to its members, SHRM added a discussion area to the online version of the article where organizations can talk about their own fitness efforts.

HR Magazine Editor Nancy Davis notes that the cover story is part of the magazine’s commitment to the coverage of wellness. More than a dozen full-length articles have been published in recent years, including “New Calling: Wellness Officer” in the February 2011 edition and “Ante Up for Wellness” in the February 2012 edition. An article written by Wells in the October 2010 edition, “Does Your Workplace Make You Fat?” won an award from Association Media & Publishing.

MEDIA: If the story is quoted, please credit the Society for Human Resource Management HR Magazine.

For more information, contact Kate Kennedy at kate.kennedy@shrm.org and 703-535-6260 or Julie Malveaux at julie.malveaux@shrm.org and 703-535-6273.

About the Society for Human Resource Management

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest association devoted to human resource management. Representing about 260,000 members in over 140 countries, the Society serves the needs of HR professionals and advances the interests of the HR profession. Founded in 1948, SHRM has more than 575 affiliated chapters within the United States and subsidiary offices in China and India. Visit SHRM Online at www.shrm.org. Follow us on Twitter at: @SHRMPress
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