FITNESS: Healthy Business

by Dakota Shayne | photograph by Daniel E. Johnson

Photograph of Peaches McCahill.


There’s a new health club in Grand Rapids. Parkland Properties of Michigan  recently opened Monroe North Fitness Center, positioned beneath their company  headquarters at 940 Monroe on the west side of downtown. Parkland Property  founder Jon Rooks has plans to freshen the fitness opportunities available to his  residents and other downtown dwellers. Spreading the wealth of wellness is an  important element to our magazine. Living healthy lifestyles is a common goal  for our staff. Since Monroe North Fitness is literally footsteps from our offices, it  was a no-brainer to join the club and get involved as a group.

Wellness in the workplace is valuable. Beyond the obvious benefits of physically  healthier team members, exercise makes a positive impact on physiological  functions. Studies have shown that exercise reduces workplace stress and  increases creative potential.

“Within the  next decade  corporate  wellness will  be a major  initiative by  most large  companies in  America.”

– Peaches McCahill

To take a deeper look at corporate wellness and why more companies are  making the decision to take action, I spoke with Peaches McCahill founder of  Michigan based wellness agency The McCahill Group. In the late 70’s Peaches  was studying Industrial Recreation at Michigan State University and teaching  exercises classes to the physically challenged. In 1984 she had a dream to start  a wellness company focusing on customized corporate programming. Dreams  became reality in 1986 when Steelcase hired McCahill to design a fitness facility  at their company headquarters. Since then, companies such as Dow Chemical,  Amway, The Rapid and Foremost Insurance have followed suit and hired

McCahill to develop their wellness programming.

So what’s the benefit of working with a wellness agency  versus developing a program in house? “The benefit is  the consortium of professionals so your company isn’t  isolated. A multitude of minds is always better than a single  thought,” explains McCahill. Every company is unique.  Each corporate culture must be looked at individually to  understand the company’s concern. McCahill believes that  conducting environmental analyses is the only way to figure  out how it can be modified to support a wellness culture. A  transit driver’s working environment is much different than  that of an insurance professional, so customized planning  must be implemented.

“Within the next decade corporate wellness will be a major  initiative by most large companies in America,” says  McCahill. “Senior management participation and seamless  integration is the only way for any wellness initiative to  be effective.”  The influencers in a corporate setting aren’t  your top executives, it’s your senior management. Senior managers communicate  with workers on a daily basis and have a better ability to motivate and exemplify.  Employees need leadership and resources to make behavior change. If you  provide people with opportunities to do wellness people will do wellness, and  working with peers gets the job done.

Women’s Lifestyle staff is excited to be collaborating with Monroe North Fitness  to help us become a healthier and happier multi-media platform. Already we’ve  experienced positive change by attacking our fitness goals collectively. After  learning more about the McCahill Group’s approach to corporate wellness it’s  evident that companies of all sizes and industries have the ability to become  healthier businesses. Whether you’re a small office or a large organization  looking to develop wellness programming establish your concerns, tap into your  employees interests and make it fun! Small steps create large changes.

Dakota Shayne (Photo by Adam Bird)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Dakota is a professional fitness and lifestyle coach  based in Grand Rapids. He is often called upon by  active business professionals and fitness enthusiastists  for his expertise and functional strength training and  healthy living.  



One thought on “FITNESS: Healthy Business

Comments are closed.