By Liz Witbeck
A good business owner knows how essential it is to keep employees healthy and motivated in the workplace. Recently, Travis Gil and his team at Fitness Artist, launched a new program to help other companies do just that.
Gil is the owner of Fitness Artist, a personal training studio. The program integrates highly customized, one-on-one sessions or “exclusive” small group classes to help clients achieve their goals. He founded Fitness Artist in 2010. He has three locations: Saratoga Springs, Clifton Park and Loudonville.
He saw opportunity to grow his business and help supply a fitness and injury prevention program to other businesses, which inspired him to launch Work Force Strong. It is a corporate wellness program designed to increase productivity and decrease injuries.
The workplace is the scene of many behaviors that lead to an unhealthy lifestyle, said Gil. People might be in a warehouse where they are doing heavy lifting and carrying. People may be sitting in an office, shoulders hunched over, typing all day.
“It’s an unhealthy cycle that people get wrapped into,” he said.
New York state has the highest worker’s compensation claims in the United States. Gil said it is in an employer’s best interest to attract talented employees, increase productivity, and decrease health-related costs.
For the pilot program, Work Force Strong worked with a group of craftsmen from a government-owned laboratory. Fitness Artist trainers went into the facility approximately twice a week. Some of the sessions included stretching, flexibility, showing how to properly lift heavy objects and addressing mobility problems.
Trainers give a pre-assessment before the program begins, another one during the middle of the program, and a post assessment. Participants are assessed for items such as flexibility, movement patterns, endurance, body mass index, body weight, and other metrics. Customized, one-on-one goal setting is a large focus of the program. Those who have been through the program have already seen the results.
“Although we are an injury-prevention program, we had one woman who lost 100 pounds,” said Gil. He said the woman even moved up within the company, due to her new confidence.
He said those in the program saw a 42 percent increase in their mobility.
Gil believes that his team has something unique that they can offer organizations and their employees.
“We’re interested in how we can get you lasting results. Everything is tailored and customized to the individual. We pay attention to detail. We have an in depth approach to metrics,” he said.
From helping to prevent lower back and shoulder injuries, to increasing flexibility, the team at Work Force Strong believes it can help companies. Both on-site and off-site training is available. Work Force Strong can visit a local company and deliver their program. Alternatively, employees at a company can visit one of the company’s three locations.
“People’s perception of fitness is skewed,” he said. “They have tried to take that step and had a bad experience.” He said Fitness Artist and Work Force Strong strive to be a different kind of fitness experience.
Many projects are being planned. The team is working on an injury prevention DVD, to sell to companies to use in their own workplaces.
Among the staff at Work Force Strong is Kristen Gil, his wife, who works as a registered dietitian. She is leading efforts to develop a nutrition program that helps employees develop healthy eating habits.
For more information, visit www.wfstrong.com or www.fitness-artist.com