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Our wellness story

by Aileen Pajunen
White River, Ontario

Getting moving and eating well takes motivation. We decided to motivate our workplace by starting the New Year with a workplace wellness challenge. The entire program is team based and is built around the Canada Food for proper food consumption and exercise. Each team has 6 members and the team accumulates points for matching the guide and looses points for consumption of foods with no nutritional value. Exercising as per the guide gives you maximum additional points. In the beginning each team selected a healthy weight loss goal per member (with support from our nurse) that they would like to achieve by the end of the eight weeks. At the end of the program the team that achieves 90 % of their weight loss goal and has obtained the most points wins a very nice prize. In addition to keep them going throughout the year on December 1, 2009 if they have successfully maintained their personal weight loss goal they win an additional prize.

When starting the program we anticipated 6-8 teams thinking that 10 would be the dream number – we got 17. We have 102 participants, equivalent to 20% of our workforce. We just completed week 4 and it is amazing how fantastic it is going. Everyone is doing extremely well; it is the topic of conversation always. I have never seen a group of people so motivated and energized. Exercise around the office is regular, taking breaks to do laps up the stairs, stretching at your desk, walking to different areas vs. taking a truck it is incredible to say the least. Teams and individual members will stop me to share how they feel and what they have accomplished and I am so excited for them and the results they are achieving. Very easily each of them could tell their own story.

We originally collectively targeted to loose 1011 pounds with everyone’s combined weight loss goals over the 8 weeks. I am confident we will exceed that an

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