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Cottonwood Heights Journal

Business boot camp connected healthy business to healthy lifestyle

Mar 05, 2019 02:05PM ● By Josh Wood

Jacob Jones discussed the impact of a healthy lifestyle on business health. (Joshua Wood/City Journals)

By Joshua Wood | [email protected]

The Cottonwood Heights Business Association (CHBA) hosted a Business Boot Camp in early 2019 aimed at helping with one of the most common goals people set each new year — getting healthy. The event took the topic further by connecting the health of two key areas: business and lifestyle. Guest speaker Jacob Jones of Fitness Together stressed the importance of diet and exercise and how they can impact a person’s professional performance.

To illustrate the link between strong health habits and job performance, Jones cited studies that measured various health indicators among employees and their productivity. According to the studies, organizations with healthier staff, as measured by various indicators in health surveys, were twice as likely to outperform their peers financially. They also reported 50 percent higher revenue per employee.

That’s strong motivation for employers to offer health incentives like gym memberships. Jones discussed with the audience some of the incentives for exercising that many employers and insurers offer and how they are motivated by the potential financial impact of healthy diet and exercise. He also recognized the challenges people face. “The hardest thing about exercise is getting started,” Jones said. “It is even more of a challenge on the nutrition side. Employers are motivated to offer gym funding for exercise, but then bring in donuts to the office.”

Fitness facilities and experts like Jones can help keep their clients motivated. “The biggest thing I work on with clients is taking it step by step,” Jones said. “Let’s not talk long term right now. Let’s talk about what you’re going to do today, next week. Six weeks is long term to start out.”

While Jones focused on the health of individuals, the CHBA stressed the health of local businesses. Association board member Jeff Kemp discussed the health of community businesses from an economic standpoint and what the association does to help. “Our primary objective is to connect businesses and residents of Cottonwood Heights and to help them to be more fluent in business and better partners,” Kemp said. “We want to grow business and to influence that growth.”

The business community in Cottonwood Heights ranges from large companies based in the city’s business parks to many smaller and home-based businesses. While larger companies tend to have internal structures for offering business and employee training, the CHBA aims to support smaller businesses with fewer resources.

“We try to do a lot of outreach like this event to bring in local businesses, especially home-based businesses, to provide more interaction with other businesses,” Kemp said. “We’re here as a resource. It’s free.”

An event focusing on employee diet and exercise illustrates how diverse the Business Boot Camp topics can be. For the event’s title, Jones chose “Healthy Lifestyle = Healthy Business” and stressed the necessity of making the first move. “Ten percent of people don’t follow through even after signing up,” Jones said. His team employs strategies to make the experience more enjoyable, though. “If they don’t like working out, we distract them from working out.”

Event organizers and presenters stressed the connection between healthy lifestyle and healthy business and how it ranges from individual employees performing better to a healthier overall business community.