OATS, Inc., a statewide public transportation provider, is continuing its effort to lower the state’s obesity rate by offering wellness programs for its employees. Over the last three months, employees have been doing a great deal of walking…toward the goal of completing 90 Miles in 90 Days. When the program ended, 58 employees had walked an amazing total of 10,700 miles.
Driver Ken Grace, of Troy, came in first place by walking 619 miles during the three month period. This isn’t Ken’s first win though, as he has competed in every wellness challenge OATS has offered. Ken was also the winner of last summer’s Walk Across Missouri challenge where he walked more than 1,000 miles. Not only has he won prizes, he is much healthier, which is the real prize!
“I started walking in 2009 when a doctor told me I had to lose weight to avoid major medical problems,” said Ken Grace. He heeded his doctor’s advice and lost a lot of weight and is still walking away! Driver Maggie Meltabarger, of Marionville came in second and has seen a great deal of benefit from OATS Wellness activities too.
“We are so proud of our staff members that are making a commitment to better health and wellness,” said Jill Stedem, Administrative Services Director and company wellness coordinator. OATS is continuing to offer programs aimed at getting employees on board with healthy eating habits and making exercise a part of their daily routine. “We all pay the price for obesity. Lack of exercise and poor eating habits lead to higher health care costs for everyone” added Stedem. OATS is also looking to partner with other companies around the state to help their employees live healthier. “We would like to offer more wellness programs, but as a non-profit agency most of our funding goes directly to providing transportation services. Building partnerships with others could make more wellness programs possible,” Stedem said.