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November 25, 2015

Executive Physicals & Wellness

Promoting wellness

What some companies in Florida are doing to promote a healthier lifestyle.

Amy Keller | 5/22/2012

Zimmerman Advertising, Fort Lauderdale

Pat Patregnani was president of Zimmerman Advertising in 2003 when he decided to quit smoking after his daughter saw a black lung display at a science fair and the founder and chairman of the company, Jordan Zimmerman, challenged him to give up the habit. He now participates in various organized bike rides, including a 150-mile ride to raise money for the South Florida Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Patregnani and CFO Mike Schweiger created the zMotion bike team, which provides bikes and training to any employee wanting to join the club and ride. During its first year, 75 employees trained and another 54 participated in the Zimmerman MS Bike Ride fundraiser. Today, zMotion sponsors five major south Florida rides, including its own Livelong Benefiting Livestrong event each October.

Zimmerman Advertising bike team

Merchant Services, Miami

Besides running credit card processing company Merchant Services, Chapman Ducote, president and CEO, is a professional race car driver. He maintains a rigorous training regimen to ensure he's in optimum cardiovascular health, and he extends that passion for fitness to his employees. "I actually invite a lot of the employees to take part in my fitness regimen," says Ducote, who keeps trainers on staff every day from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the company's gym. Other activities include sunset yoga on the company's terrace, weight training classes, paddleboarding in Biscayne Bay and boot camps.

Merchant Services

DHL Express USA, Plantation

Ian Clough, CEO of DHL Express USA, banned all board members from using elevators for one month. Any board member who got caught would have to contribute $10 to charity. "Quite frankly, the board members I see on a regular basis are still using the stairs now because they realized it's not that big a deal."

Clough also encourages employees to follow his lead with a 15-minute "lake break" each afternoon. "We're all having meetings with each other during the day anyway," says Clough.

Ryder System, Miami

Transportation and logistics company Ryder System recently launched a "sleep apnea wellness" program to reduce fatigue among its truck drivers. Under the program, drivers who are identified as having untreated sleep apnea are enrolled in a sleep study and will receive a CPAP machine to aide their nighttime breathing. All services are free to the employee. Pam Rothstein, Ryder's director of employee benefits, says approximately 80 drivers have gone through the program. "We've gotten a lot of endorsements that it's just changed people's lives. They feel better. They're sleeping better. They feel more confident on the road in terms of driving commercial vehicles."

Tags: Healthcare

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