Vernon Company Introduces "Commit To Be Fit" Wellness Initiative
The Vernon Company, an Iowa-based distributor, recently launched a full-scale wellness initiative, "Commit To Be Fit," with the goal of educating, encouraging and engaging employees to adopt healthier lifestyles.
"We hope to provide employees with the tools they need to be more aware of healthy lifestyles and ultimately get employees more involved in their overall health and wellness," said Chris Vernon, president of The Vernon Company.
The Commit To Be Fit program officially kicked-off with a ribbon cutting at the company's new, on-site Fitness Center. The center, a remodeled large conference room on the company's first floor, features multiple treadmills, elliptical machines, complete fixed weight machine and free weights. The fitness center is available for employee use from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. In addition, the company installed on-site showers, lockers and dressing areas for men and women.
Last fall, The Vernon Company instituted a Wellness Council to oversee corporate health activities. The council conducted an employee-wide survey to gauge awareness and interest from staff and has been planning a number of innovative programs to address employee health and wellness concerns.
From the survey feedback, the company opened the on-site employee Fitness Center, has conducted complete wellness screenings for employees, tested all water sources on-site, installed two new ice machines and switched to healthier food options in its vending machines. All vending machine food items are clearly ranked according to nutritional value.
Later this month, the company will break ground on its new onsite company garden. Planting, cultivating and harvesting will be done by company employees and their families. A portion of the fresh produce harvested from the garden throughout the summer and fall will be donated to local agencies to feed the hungry.
Events such as health fairs, lunch-and-learn sessions, guest speakers, healthy food demonstrations and more are planned to educate employees about healthier lifestyles. Employees are also being encouraged to get up and get moving through the fitness center, group walks, employee exercise groups and fitness classes (e.g., walking/running club, 5K training programs, etc.). The wellness council also has implemented "Fruitilicious Tuesday" where a variety of fresh seasonal fruit is made available to all employees each Tuesday.