Recognizing that a healthy workforce is good for business, Verizon on Wednesday (Oct. 12) gave its employees a jump-start on healthy living with the opening of a new 6,700-square-foot health and wellness center in Silver Spring.
The grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony included a tour of the facility, equipment demonstrations, healthy refreshments and free health assessments for employees, including biometric and mammography screenings.
Located at Verizon's Chesapeake Complex at 13100 Columbia Pike, the center will operate Monday through Friday from 5:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. The company now has a total of 44 in-house health and wellness centers across the country.
"Our employees are our most valuable asset," said Christopher D. Childs, Verizon's Potomac regional operations president. "We invest in professional development programs and find great value in providing our employees convenient and affordable tools to better their health and overall well-being. We also understand the mutual benefits of providing, promoting and supporting a healthy work environment for employees."
Childs noted that physically and psychologically healthy employees are more productive, have higher morale, create a positive work environment and, therefore, can better serve customers. "In a service business, that's critical," he added.
The new facility will be staffed with professional coaches and equipped with elliptical machines, arc trainers, treadmills, stationary bikes, steppers and strength-training equipment. For a payroll deduction of $15 per month, employees also can benefit from one-on-one time with the coaches for exercise and nutrition counseling, aerobics classes and a smoking cessation program - just to name a few of the center's offerings. The center will also hold blood drives, flu shots, cholesterol screenings and offer "Lunch & Learn" seminars to educate employees on how to lead a balanced, healthier lifestyle.
"It's important to us that this center is more than just a workout facility," said Verizon's national head coach, Mark Monteyne. "We take a holistic approach to employee wellness. Our mission is to help employees live healthier, more fulfilling lives by empowering them with knowledge of nutrition, mind/body health and optimal ways to achieve their personal fitness goals."
Monteyne added: "Verizon believes a healthy employee is a productive, happy employee - both at work and at home. Our health and wellness centers focus on healthy lifestyles all employees can achieve in order to work well and be well. Our goal is to have 100 percent of our employees participate in proactive and preventive wellness programs."
Nearly 800 Verizon employees already have signed up as members at the Silver Spring center.
According to a 2010 study from the nonprofit organization Partnership for Prevention, employers spend an additional $226 billion a year - an average of $1,685 per employee - on absenteeism, low productivity and other indirect costs of individual and family health problems. Studies have shown that workers are more likely to be on the job and performing well when they are in optimal physical and psychological health.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, NASDAQ:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to consumer, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, with more than 106 million total connections nationwide. Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America's most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers integrated business solutions to customers in more than 150 countries, including all of the Fortune 500. A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of nearly 196,000 and last year generated consolidated revenues of $106.6 billion. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.