BizicallyFIT™ 2012 Health Challenge: Northern Minnesota Furnace Manufacturer wins in Pedometer Steps

Dream Team members, listed from back left: Madeline Waage, Derick Converse, Rob Mickelson, Eric Etherington, David McDonald, Keith Wheeler, Alietia Nygaard, Sean Sorteberg (team members not pictured: Shannon Converse, Alicia Spilde)

Employees teamed up to compete in statewide BizicallyFIT™ 2012 Health Challenge with support from Central Boiler’s workplace wellness program.

The recent BizicallyFIT™ 2012 Health Challenge lit a fire under Alietia Nygaard and her colleagues at Central Boiler in Greenbush, Minnesota. Nygaard’s 11-member team, called “Alietia’s Dream Team,” won first place in the Pedometer Steps division of the 2012 Health Challenge with a team average of 17,030 steps per day over the 12-week competition, beating 10,000 other participants on more than 1,600 other teams.

Nygaard and her team were among 88 individuals who joined the Challenge with coworkers from Central Boiler, an outdoor wood furnace manufacturer with more than 200 employees in Greenbush, Minnesota. To encourage 2012 Health Challenge participants, Central Boiler’s growing workplace wellness program spread the word and offered an intra-company leaderboard for participating teams. Each week, Central Boiler’s teams received an email that ranked each team from first to last in each category.

“I knew I wanted to lose weight, get active and get healthy, and I wanted a team to help keep me motivated,” Nygaard says. “We sent encouraging messages to one another and challenged each other to participate in individual challenges throughout the competition.”

Central Boiler’s workplace wellness program began in 2006 and continues to grow to meet employee needs. Each quarter, the company’s Human Resources team offers employees a list of approximately 10 healthy activity options. The second quarter activity list included the BizicallyFIT™ 2012 Health Challenge along with other options like attending an onsite stress reduction seminar, completing a cessation program for tobacco, or visiting a doctor for a preventative care appointment. If employees complete four of these healthy activities, they earn a $50 credit that can be applied to a health savings account, healthcare premiums or used in the Central Boiler company store.

“A lot of hard work has been put in by Central Boiler employees and by the owners, Dennis and Terri Brazier, to make our wellness program the huge success that it is today,” says Human Resources Manager Jarod Reierson.

The lifestyle changes “Alietia’s Dream Team” has made are already paying off. Nygaard and several of her teammates met their fitness or weight loss goals during the Challenge. She has already lost 11.2 pounds, increased her endurance and noticed her knees and shins no longer hurt when she runs.

The BizicallyFIT™ 2012 Health Challenge has ended, but Nygaard and her colleagues plan to maintain their workout and healthy eating habits. “I have actually begun adding extra time to my daily workout,” Nygaard says. “And my coworker and I are currently in a mini competition with each other to reach our goal fitness level.”

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