Businesses Taking Steps Towards Better Health On Treadmills

We all know about the importance of getting up and getting active for your health.

But what if your job requires you to be behind a desk?

Several companies in Lynchburg are participating in a pilot program that encourages employees to take STEPS towards a healthy lifestyle, by using a treadmill desk.

Every day at Bank of the James, about 15 employees schedule a 30 minute block to work at this treadmill workstation. It's a way for them to get their work done; not just for their customers, but for their own health. Hazel Coleman likes the results she's seeing, saying "Actually, it's great because I can get my work done back here, and go back to my desk, and answer phone calls, or emails that I need to return....I've lost some pounds, I feel GOOD!"

Bank of the James is one of 6 local companies, along with Genworth, Babcock and Wilcox, and the City of Lynchburg, who are participating in the program, which is being run by the Lynchburg Health Department and the Chamber of Commerce.

Bank of the James Human Resources Director Shirley Deen says the treadmill is a natural fit for the Bank's healthy initiatives, saying "We do a number of things, everything from the Virginia Ten Miler, to bringing in a nutritionist; this just seemed like another natural idea to try."

While employees weren't sure how to work and work out, Deen says employees are getting healthier, while fulfilling their work obligations. She notes that "Our folks are still able to work, still able to satisfy the customer's needs, and while they're at it, they're exercising, which is so very important for us, because so many of our jobs are desk jobs, and you're inactive."

Hazel Coleman jumps on the treadmill every day, and says people who are confused need to just hop on, and get moving. "I didn't think I could move, because I don't like to move slowly, I like to move fast, so once I got my speed up, and actually was able to work the mouse better, it's easier, it's easy."

The desks will remain at area businesses through the end of September.