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Six Lehigh Valley companies recognized as 'Fit Friendly Workplaces'

By Jaccii Farris, Reporter, JFarris@wfmz.com
Published On: Dec 14 2012 06:51:51 AM CST

Fit friendly workplaces

Is there a correlation between health and productivity? The American Heart Association thinks so and is encouraging employers to get on board.

Six companies in the Lehigh Valley have been recognized as certified "Fit Friendly Workplaces":

Lehigh Valley Health Network, Rodale Inc, ArtsQuest, Crayola,Lehigh Valley Marketplace and Computer Aid.

At Computer Aid in South Whitehall Township, Lehigh County, employees spend most of their time working on creative IT solutions.

But several times a day you will find them strolling around the building.

Computer Aid is one of six Lehigh Valley companies certified as a Fit Friendly Workplace by the American Heart Association.

"We offer a significant discount on medical premiums for participation in wellness. Things like tobacco use, smoking cessation and also healthy lifestyles," said Computer Aid CEO Andrew McIntyre.

The company has been encouraging employees to get healthy at work for four years.

But since its certification this year, the health kick has been kicked up a notch.

"I was a smoker and 70 pounds heavier than I am today," said Computer Aid Benefits Manager Cary Matias.

For years she has been leading by example.

Every day she eats healthy and joins her co-workers who are walking, using a special stretching rack downstairs, hitting some golf balls or taking a few minutes to relax in a special massage chair.

Computer Aid has a 90 percent participation rate in the Fit Friendly Workplace program.

Company officials say productivity is high and medical costs have decreased.

"From a claims standpoint we have actually been pretty good. We have beaten the national average in terms of our medical plan utilization," says McIntyre.

Computer Aid will re-certify in July..

MacIntyre says keeping it's employees happy and healthy also means a healthy bottom line.