By: Janine Dilger
You could say that Jim Wachtel occupies a front-row seat in the corporate health and wellness industry. And, because of his job as a health care cost-containment strategist with HealthCheck 360, he spends a lot of time in that seat, whether it’s in his office, in his car, or on an airplane travelling for work.
“I spend a lot of my day sitting and every day I talk to people who are in the same boat,” he says. “Whether I’m at my desk, working from home, or travelling for work, I can be fairly sedentary during the work day.”
HealthCheck 360 is a full-service consulting firm that helps evaluate benefit programs and advises on implementing corporate health and wellness programs to American companies. They work with clients to not only get programs going, but they also follow-up by working with clients to set up parameters for assessment, and offering ongoing analysis and support once programs are established.
“In my line of work, I’m always thinking about things that drive good health and ‘sitting disease’ is a concept that is receiving a lot of attention in the media recently,” he says.
If you haven’t heard of sitting disease before, recent research points to the fact that our sedentary lifestyles are slowly killing us. Our bodies were made to move and the typical 8-to-10 hour workday is having a negative effect on our overall health, contributing to an increase in chronic health conditions such as heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. In fact, it’s been said, “sitting is the new smoking.”
Through HealthCheck 360, employees can access fitness training programs, participation incentives, one-on-one coaching, nutrition counselling and many other benefits to help sustain a healthy lifestyle. So, for Wachtel, being aware of current trends and tools is essential to doing his job well.
It was with this in mind that Wachtel came across the Walktop treadmill desk by Fitneff while on the Internet. “I’m always looking for creative ways for companies to build movement into their employees’ work days,” he says. “I was doing some research into treadmill desks and came across this product.”
The Walktop seemed to be a natural fit for his line of work and his personal desire to live a healthy and active life, so he decided to give it a try.
While doing some research on sitting disease and treadmill desks a Google search brought me to your product. Like many of my clients, I want to live a healthy lifestyle, but I don’t always have a lot of spare time and don’t want to compromise my productivity.
The notion of a treadmill desk makes a lot of sense to me, because it would allow me the option of working while walking. I looked at a variety of different treadmill desk products at different price points, but liked what the Walktop had to offer for the price.
There were a few factors that ultimately set it apart for me: these were its size, price and ease of use. Other products were bulky in size and costly. Many of the treadmill desks out there were large and cumbersome and necessitated the permanent conversion of a treadmill to a desk. With the Walktop, I can still use my treadmill to run if I want.
I installed it around Christmas. I already wear an activity tracker and I like that I can increase my daily step count while still checking my emails, participating in webinars or talking on the phone.
I like that I can get the same amount of work done, killing two birds with one stone. I can move while I’m working and my productivity doesn’t take a hit.
The fact that it attaches and detaches to most treadmills so easily is what sold me in the end. I still like to use my treadmill to run and this gives me the option to quickly and easily do either.
Absolutely! It’s relatively inexpensive and allows your treadmill to remain a treadmill.
Most people don’t have the budget or space to invest in a big expensive treadmill unit. So, this is a fabulous alternative for those people.
Of all the products I looked at, it came at the best price and it’s easy to use at home or at the office.
It’s important to note that while the Walktop allows me to increase my steps and keep moving, it isn’t a replacement for other more vigorous types of exercise. But, it is one easy little thing a person can do to create a healthier lifestyle for a relatively small investment.
In recent years, in both the US and Canada, there has been much discussion on the Return on Investment (ROI) for wellness programs in the workplace. Having a birds-eye view into the big picture of corporate wellness programs, Wachtel certainly sees the benefit to companies who decide to make that investment.
“I think intuitively, people know that healthier employees can contribute to a healthier company,” he observes.
Having worked with a few companies over a long period of time, he recognizes that there is now an accumulation of data that shows the claims cost trend is reducing because of corporate wellness programs. And proportionally, the average health of employees is steadily increasing over time.
Fitneff believes that integrating movement into daily life is an essential first step toward a healthier lifestyle for individuals and a healthier corporate environment for companies. Consider making an investment in your overall health today.
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Today, on International Women’s Day, I have chosen to profile Laurel Walzak, the female co-founder of Fitneff Inc. Laurel has been successful in so many areas of her career - first as a trailblazer in the sports business industry, then as an entrepreneur and most recently as an Assistant Professor of Sports Media at Ryerson University.
Laurel also spends a great deal of her time and energy outside the office in efforts to advance the careers of young women who are making their start. I asked Laurel some important questions about the role of women in business, and the role that she plays in advocating for other women in her life.