Wellness coordinator heads two-year study to improve job satisfaction through exercise.
By Bleah B. Patterson
This semester’s Employee Wellness Program marks the halfway point in a two-year study of the effect of regular exercise and healthier eating habits.
As expected, participants in the first two semesters of the program reported increased morale, energy and job satisfaction, wellness Coordinator Chris Dillon said.
The program is also predicted to decrease stress while providing faculty some much needed “me time,” Dillon said.
The program accepted its first 10 self-nominated participants in spring 2013 and will continue to take participants through spring 2015.
In his recruitment email, Dillon suggested encouraging co-workers who might benefit.
Participants are presented with a job satisfaction survey before and after the program.
“Since the beginning of the program, every participant’s scores have gone up without fail, Dillon said, “They’ve never gone down or remained the same.”
Dillon will perform a fitness assessment on participants to determine muscle index, strength and flexibility. Program sponsor Methodist Hospital will provide biometric screenings of glucose, cholesterol and body mass index at the beginning and end of the program.
Mandy Tyler, UTSA athletic dietician and former Spurs dietician, will be sponsoring the program, providing personalized meal plans based on participants’ eating preferences and biometric screening outcomes. Each participant must report to Dillon three times a week for a pre-planned, 30-minute exercise routine, which will be logged online to monitor participation.
Supervisor permission was required for each individual chosen because participants will have to commit to a thrice-weekly, 30-minute circuit led by Dillon to improve overall health and energy.
“We know that the program is working because we’re seeing results,” Dillon said. “As far as long-term results, we can’t say yet because the program is still in the infancy stage, but we have high hopes.”