A Healthier Direction

2021-12-15 20:08 - 0 Comments

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, between their morning and afternoon runs, a group of Bus Drivers from Broward County Schools, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, take a ride themselves. The "Wellness Bus" transports the drivers from their worksites to Body Mechanics, a local gym that participates in the employee free gym membership benefit for school board employees. They excercise, receive complimentary personal training services, belly dance, stretch, and do Pilates.

The United States Department of Transportation requires that all school bus drivers maintain a blood pressure reading below 140/90. At an annual bus driver's meeting in August of 2007, it was found that 7% of drivers has blood pressure over 179/109. As a result, the blood pressure "Downshift" educational program, along with the help of Novartis Pharmecuticals, was launched.
The program included placing blood pressure machines in all of the five transportation terminals, an awareness campaign, poster contest, dietary guidance and the "Healthier Directions" bus project.

Everyone benefits through this program. The drivers are healthier, the District experiences less absenteeism and has more energetic employees, and healthcare claims are down. Who would have ever thought that lowering our blood pressure through group exercise could be so FUN!
Submitted by Tina Severance-Fonte

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