LANB Wellness Program Reaps Healthy Dividends

President Steve Wells of Los Alamos National Bank discusses the positive impact that a wellness program implemented at LANB has had on employees and productivity. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

By Carol A. Clark

Following a 12-week health and fitness program implemented at Los Alamos National Bank and Title Guarantee, participating employees lost a whopping 460 pounds collectively and added an astounding 179 years to their life expectancy.

“The whole concept is that a healthier employee is a happier employee and is a more productive employee,” LANB President Steve Wells said. “Our insurance company believes it and our management believes it and it has proved to be the case.”

Wells explained that banking in general is not a particularly healthy workplace. In the past, many employees used to eat donuts at every meeting and lunch was often fast food, he said, adding that the work can be stressful as well.

To offset this, Wells said that the bank wanted to offer a program that made a difference in the health and lives of its employees.

LANB partnered with Nutiva, a New Mexico based wellness program, and the life-changing results have been phenomenal:

  • 101 employees completed the program,
  • 79 people lost weight,
  • 69 people lowered their body age,
  • 64 people improved their cardio vascular fitness,
  • 66 people improved their blood pressure, and
  • 49 people improved their A1c Hemoglobin.

Those participating in the program reduced their cardiovascular risks by 41 percent, heart disease by 21 percent, risk of diabetes by 20 percent and significantly lowered their blood pressure by 32 percent.

LANB’s wellness program is now in its second year and Wells said that the bank expects the 2012 results to be even better.

“Healthy employees are good for business. As business leaders, it’s important to remember that our most important assets are our employees,” Wells said. “We want our employees to enjoy their work environment and to bring the best of themselves to the job every day.

Wells recounted how the fitness program literally turned out to be a lifesaver for one of his employees. This man wasn’t in the program but began walking at lunchtime with a group of employees who were.

He noticed how his fellow employees were feeling more energetic with each passing day while he was feeling markedly worse.

“He went to the doctor and discovered he had a 99 percent blockage to his heart … he was a walking heart attack waiting to happen,” Wells said. “He had bypass surgery and is feeling just great now and is walking every day.”

Wells explained that the concept of a healthy lifestyle essentially revolves around three things – drinking lots of water, eating in moderation and moving one’s body, even by simply walking.

“Encouraging our employees to embrace fitness as a lifestyle pays off in so many ways,” Wells said. “Documented savings have been observed in medical costs, absenteeism, worker’s compensation claims and short term disability.”

Fit employees:

  • Are less likely to get sick,
  • have more energy,
  • have more self-confidence,
  • tend to take on more leadership roles, and
  • are less stressed.

Nuvita performed an individual health assessment on each employee enrolled in the program. The initial assessment benchmarked the employee’s health related to key risk factors such as cardiovascular risks, heart disease and diabetes.

Each participant received a customized wellness program with realistic and attainable goals.

Participants shared program costs with the bank and received a cardio monitor, access to a wellness coach and education, nutrition and goal tracking through the Nuvita website.

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