Working out at work helps employee wellness - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Working out at work helps employee wellness

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If you ever feel like there is just not enough time to squeeze a work-out into your day or the task feels too great - this Healthcast is for you!

L'auberge Casino and Resort is one local workplace that has added employee health and wellness to its environment. 

For Vynessie Wilburn and two of her co-workers, every work day brings about a 10-15 productive break.  With their shoes laced up and ready to go, this fit-posse commits each day to get moving at work.  "It's a quick jump start to the afternoon, it gives us energy, decreases stress," says Wilburn.

With hours behind a desk and tempting cafeteria food like apple pies and ice cream, Wilburn said her first two years on the job added 40 pounds to her physique.  "I was technically obese and hearing the word 'obese' has really traumatized me!" said Wilburn.

In a workplace L'auberge's size, there can be a variety of unhealthy habits - whether it is poor nutrition, smoking or inactivity. That is what brought CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital health educator Kristie Evans there, to work alongside its 2,100 employees.  "We coordinate exercise programs, healthy eating programs, stress management, as well as health education programs," said Evans.

"Team members" as L'auberge employees are called, truly have formed walking teams through the American Heart Association's Start! Walking Program on site.  "We have a downstairs and an upstairs course and basically you just encourage your team members or employees to walk on breaks or before and after work," said Evans.

That one mile walk each day, mixed with better cafeteria choices has helped Wilburn drop 25 pounds and she says the push for healthier employees is something that reaches past the number on a scale.  "You have happier employees, better employees and lower health costs, so it's a win-win situation," said Wilburn.

Wednesday, April 4th is the American Heart Association's National Walking Day. Companies are being asked to have their employees wear sneakers to work and take at least 30 minutes to get up and walk.

You can join the crew from the AHA and CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital at the Lake Charles Civic Center seawall at noon on April 4th or the free walking event.

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