Town of Apex employees are known for being a competitive group that doesn’t like to lose.
Yet, in the past several months, hardly anyone in the state has been losing with quite so much enthusiasm.
Apex recently captured first prize in the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Get Fit Challenge.
A total of 84 town employees, about 25 percent of the municipal workforce, committed themselves to eating healthier, exercising more and shedding lots of flab.
A total of 81 businesses statewide took part in the 60-day challenge and improved their fitness levels by an average of 21.2 percent.
Town employees improved their fitness level by an impressive 50.45 percent.
“I was pleasantly surprised by the number of participants and their enthusiasm,” said Town of Apex Human Resources Director Eleanor Green. “They really took it seriously and became dedicated to a healthier lifestyle.”
The town competed in the Medium Group of businesses that have a total of 250 to 999 employees. Greensboro Housing Authority won the Small Group while New Hanover County took first place in the Large Group.
Knowing how much Apex employees like to finish first, Green broke her team into 13 sub-teams and held an internal competition.
The strategy worked as co-workers began good-naturedly working hard to top one another.
“We have a very competitive group,” said Green. “They really started to have a lot of fun with it.”
Besides helping Town of Apex employees get healthier, the competition might also help save taxpayers some money.
With so many employees serious about getting fit, the town could end up paying less on insurance premiums.
“First and foremost, the most important thing is the health of our employees,” said Green. “Having a healthier lifestyle will help them enjoy a greater quality of life. But, yes, a healthier workforce can certainly save the town money.”
Although Green was impressed that a quarter of the town’s employees chose to get involved, she would like to see more employees become serious about good health.
She believes that some non-participants are already thinking about making changes in their eating habits.
“I think we will have more involvement because of word of mouth,” said Green. “People are looking around and they see their co-workers feeling better. You can also look at many of them and see they have lost weight. I think we will have some positive peer pressure for people to get healthier.”
For this competitive group who loves to win, losing never felt so good.