The Fittest Companies in America
Fitness in the workplace is no longer a mere employee perk. Discover the 15 fittest places to work.
VERIZON WIRELESS (65,000 employees)
Basking Ridge, N.J.
This cell phone company knows what it means to surround its employees with healthy-living choices—offering 28 on-site health and wellness centers in its various offices across the U.S. Each of those gyms contains cardio and strength-training equipment; spinning studios; group exercise classes that offer aerobics, Pilates, outdoor boot camp, and kickboxing, plus massage-therapy facilities. Oneon- one personal training and individual nutrition counseling from on-staff fitness coaches are also available. The Verizon Wireless intramural league includes softball, volleyball, soccer, biking, running, and walking teams. “Helping our employees get fit and healthy is a competitive advantage,” says Martha Delehanty, vice president of human resources. “It reduces our absenteeism rate as well as our presenteesim—our employees are more engaged when they are at work because their bodies feel good.”
SABRE HOLDINGS (4,200 employees in the U.S.)
Last year Sabre, which counts Travelocity among its brands, saw its health-care costs increase only 1% (the nationwide average was 9%). Its secret? A companywide health-and-wellness program, in which more than 80% of its U.S. employees participate. The program started in 2004 and includes fitness, nutrition, stress relief,and weight-loss challenges, all of which have created a noticeable shift in attitude among workers. “It’s wild. I walk around here, and people are thinner,” says benefits manager Matt Robbins, who oversees the wellness program but has yet to tire ofthe “you changed my life” e-mails from employees. “Everyone is looking more healthy,” he says. Online surveys track employee habits, determine where their biggest risks healthwise are, and offer recommendations on specific company wellness offerings. (One popular option: Active Release Techniques, twice-weekly sessions with a chiropractor to treat soft tissue damage.) Aggregate results of those surveys allow the company to determine which areas its employees need help in and then tailor programs accordingly. For instance, the surveys found that there are fewer smokers at Sabre than at other companies and nationally, but extra pounds were a particular problem. Rather than pouring its resources into smokingcessation programs, Sabre now concentrates on weight-loss efforts.
TEC LABORATORIES (42 employees)
If you want face time with the CEO of this midsize pharmaceutical company—and possibly the chance to put your career on the fast track—you’d better pull on your running shoes. Tec boss Steve Smith is an avid outdoorsman and marathon runner and welcomes employees at any level of the organization to join him for his regular run on Tec’s campus trails during lunch. When the company built the new headquarters a few years ago, it included on-site basketball courts after finding out that one-third of its employees play the game. Now, during lunchtime, “Got Next” is the company chant.