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Gevity Partners With Olympic Athlete to Promote a Healthier Workforce and Reduce Healthcare Costs for Business Owners
Date:11/13/2008

Gevity (NASDAQ:GVHR), a leading professional employer organization (PEO) that provides HR services to businesses nationwide, released today workplace fitness tips from Olympian Trey Hardee along with Gevity’s own “Workplace Fitness Tips for Better Business Performance.” These tips are designed to help businesses get fit, improve productivity and reduce healthcare costs.

BRADENTON, Fla. (Business Wire EON) November 13, 2008 -- According to the National Federation of Small Business, the cost of health care is one of the biggest concerns small businesses face in running a profitable business. In a survey of more than 3,500 small business owners, 56 percent reported that the cost of health care was their biggest concerns, followed by energy costs, taxes and interest rates.

An effective way to combat healthcare costs is to build a healthier workforce. And research shows that fitness really does pay off for businesses and for employees. People who exercised at least eight times a month for a period of two years saw an overall 33.6 percent decrease in average healthcare claims costs, according to a recent study conducted by Medica, a Minnesota-based, health plan provider and non-profit corporation.

With nearly 25 years of experience in benefits administration, Gevity understands the value of a healthy workforce. In partnering with Olympic decathlete Trey Hardee, one of our country's top athletes, Gevity has leveraged the discipline and expertise of an Olympic athlete to develop business tips that can help motivate and empower employees to get fit. Hardee recently competed in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing and finished second in the decathlon at the 2008 Olympic Trials.

Hardee's advice for incorporating fitness into your daily routine is a straightforward, three-step process.

Workplace Fitness Tips from Olympian Trey Hardee

  • Make your health and fitness a priority.

  • Set goals you can live with.

  • Stick to it — no matter what.

Hardee suggests that activity can become a part of your everyday without making significant changes.

"Instead of playing a video game, take your children to skip rocks or go hiking. Instead of investing in expensive fitness equipment, put on your tennis shoes and run for 10 minutes one way and then back," Hardee said. "Changes like these don't cost anything and will make a big difference in the long run."

When it comes to setting goals and achieving them, Hardee said, "It's not magic, it's about doing all the little things right."

  • recommends staying committed to what's important, noting that this will help you stay on track to achieving your goals. Perhaps most importantly, Hardee believes that inspiration must come from oneself.

"You must make good choices every day because you want to, not because someone else wants you to," Hardee said. "When I competed in the Olympics, I was extremely proud to represent my country, and many people encouraged me along the way. But when it came time to compete, I turned to my own motivation for inspiration."

  • Value of Fitness in the Workplace

Fitness benefits extend beyond one's waistline and health benefits. In the workplace, fitness levels improve employee morale and business productivity, as well as reduce healthcare costs.

"If your workforce is healthier, you're guaranteed to see a decline in healthcare costs and absenteeism and a big boost in productivity. The end result will be a higher performing, more profitable business," according to Chris Davis, Gevity Vice President of Finance & Insurance Solutions.

Furthermore, studies show that 70 to 80 percent of medical costs are associated with modifiable risk factors such as obesity, smoking and stress. A mere seven percent weight loss, among those considered obese, can reduce claims costs significantly — by a staggering 30% or more. Workplace fitness also is a morale booster. Human resource specialists report that employees feel more valued when their employer takes an interest in their health.

Gevity Workplace Fitness Tips for Better Business Performance

  • Start a walking program. Encourage employees to get out and exercise together. Even without a health club on site, employees can walk outside, climb the stairs during lunch or bring a fitness instructor onsite a few times a week. Physical activity will boost energy levels and productivity. And exercising with fellow employees will encourage consistency and encouragement.

  • Offer free water and healthy foods. Get rid of the vending machines and stock your break rooms with a free water cooler, or bottled water and nutritious snacks. Put out a donation basket for employees to contribute to when they select an item.

  • Offer discounts at local fitness clubs. Several healthcare plans, including Gevity's employee benefits programs, offer discounts for participants who regularly use fitness clubs. Take advantage of these arrangements and widely communicate them to your employees.

  • Partner with nearby restaurants. Check out the local hot spots with the healthiest fare and inquire about employee discounts. If you are in the restaurant industry, consider offering higher employee discounts on your more nutritious offerings.

  • Celebrate success. Consider running a fitness campaign or a contest with your employees. Whether it's losing weight, giving up smoking or exercising more, encourage each employee to set a goal toward overall better health. Offer incentives through rewards and recognition programs for progress made.

About Gevity

  • pioneer in the professional employer organization (PEO) industry, Gevity (NASDAQ:GVHR) helps clients focus their resources on running a profitable business. With 25 years of service, Gevity delivers solutions for employers nationwide through payroll, employee benefits, risk management and HR services. For more information, please visit www.gevity.com.

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/workplace_fitness/healthcare_costs/prweb1611962.htm


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