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Town employees put fitness to work … at work

Programs to run through March

Two eight-week fitness classes are set to begin for employees of the Town of Sturbridge. The classes will run through March. The program is delivered through The Massachusetts Interlocal Insurance Association (MIIA), the town’s health insurance provider. (click for larger version)
January 13, 2011
STURBRIDGE — A healthy employee is a happy employee, especially when he or she is given the opportunity to enroll in free fitness classes through work.

Several Sturbridge employees will likely be able to achieve their New Year's resolutions to enjoy a healthy 2011, as they will participate in a fitness program designed to encourage health-conscious lifestyle behaviors. The Massachusetts Interlocal Insurance Association (MIIA), Sturbridge's health insurance provider, will offer two eight-week fitness classes at no cost to the town as a membership benefit. The first class began yesterday, Thursday, Jan. 13, and will run through mid-March, and the second class is tentatively scheduled to begin on Jan. 19 and run through the last week of March.

"The town is pleased to participate in the MIIA wellness program, as it provides direct and beneficial information to employees while also helping to mitigate rising healthcare costs," said Town Administrator Shaun Suhoski.

According to MIIA Health Benefits Trust information, individuals who do not exercise spend 10 percent more money on healthcare and use twice the amount of sick time than those individuals who exercise regularly. In addition, frequent exercise can help reduce the risk of suffering from such diseases as diabetes and heart disorders. It is estimated that 53 million Americans are currently at the pre-diabetic stage, which can be easily reversed with an emphasis on regular exercise, a well-balanced diet, a healthy lifestyle, and regular doctor visits, according to MIIA research.

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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