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Wurth Electronics Midcom Inc. – Better Environment for Better Health

Wurth Electronics Midcom, headquartered in Watertown, was chosen as one of 10 worksites in SD for the Steps to Wellness Pilot Project in 2014 receiving grant funds to implement policy, system and environmental change to increase physical activity at work. A Steps to Wellness Committee was formed of volunteers from various departments within the organization to determine how to implement the Steps to Wellness Project and continue wellness efforts.

We were in the fortunate position of already having a space allowed for physical activity and management supportive of healthy initiatives. However, the space was not specifically designated for exercise and was shared with maintenance and storage. There was no formal commitment to provide a space for physical activity so there was concern that as the company grew this space would be used for other purposes.

The Steps to Wellness pre-assessment survey confirmed that employees would exercise if given a more inviting exercise space with changing rooms and cushioned flooring to allow for exercise that the current concrete flooring did not. The committee utilized grant funds to create a separate, designated Exercise Room. Walls were put up and painted with bright colors and the space included changing rooms, addition of a window and rubber flooring. The changes solidified that the space was intended for physical activity and to ensure it would not be re-allocated for other purposes, a Wellness Policy was approved and put into place. We had a Ribbon Cutting and Open House and have since been promoting the use of the Exercise Room to support employee health and wellness.

We have seen a significant increase in use of the Exercise Room. A survey assessed usage for one week in April and one week in November. The result was a 160% growth in use! All employees were affected but specifically those who were not able to use the area before the flooring was installed. More employees use the exercise room because it is now an inviting space. In addition, the parking lot was striped to designate a walking path that allowed employees to do laps around the parking lot without having to go between cars or out on the road.

The project was successful because employees were willing to serve on the Steps to Wellness Committee. They gave their ideas, their time, and were even willing to paint walls! Approval of the project by Wurth Electronics Midcom’s President was a key component to success. Throughout the project Nikki Prosch, SDSU Extension Health and Physical Activity Field Specialist, was there to support us, answer questions, and be our cheerleader.

The Steps to Wellness Project was the catalyst. Without it nothing would have changed.

Lynne Forbush, Wurth Electronics Midcom

Is your worksite interested in making improvements that encourage physical activity during the work day and implementing a physical activity policy that supports healthy work environments? Click HERE for more information about the Steps to Wellness Workplace Physical Activity Grant.