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Tech center cited as fit-friendly site

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Cummins Technical Center has been recognized as a Platinum-Level Fit-Friendly Worksite by the American Heart Association for helping employees eat better and move more.

Physical activity and employee wellness are priorities at Cummins Technical Center, said Mark Mandel, health, safety and environmental leader at the center.

Those honored as platinum-level employers:

Offer employees physical activity options in the workplace.

Increase healthy eating options at the worksite.

Promote a wellness culture in the workplace.

Implement at least nine criteria outlined by the American Heart Association in the areas of physical activity, nutrition and culture.

Demonstrate measurable outcomes related to workplace wellness.

American employers are losing an estimated $225.8 billion a year because of health care expenses and health-related losses in productivity, and those numbers are rising, Mandel said.

Many American adults spend most of their waking hours at sedentary jobs.

Their lack of regular physical activity raises their risk for a host of medical problems, such as obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes. Employers face $12.7 billion in annual medical expenses due to obesity alone.

The American Heart Association is working to change corporate cultures by motivating employees to start walking, which has the lowest dropout rate of any physical activity.

In addition to Cummins Technical Center, Columbus Regional Health received Gold Level status.

Recognition is a critical component of the Fit-Friendly Worksites program.

Employers that join this program qualify for official recognition by the American Heart Association.

They are listed on the program’s national website, as well as recognition at the Columbus Heart Walk in September. Qualifying worksites also have the right to use the program’s annual recognition seal for internal communications and with external, recruitment-related communications.

“The Fit-Friendly Worksites Program offers easy-to-implement ways for organizations to help employees eat better and move more, which will help improve their health and their employer’s bottom line,” said Carmen Parker, American Heart Association corporate events director.

“Even people who haven’t exercised regularly until middle age can reap significant benefits by starting a walking program. A study published in 1986 in the New England Journal of Medicine found that some adults may gain two hours of life expectancy for every hour of regular, vigorous exercise they performed.”

For more information about the Fit-Friendly Worksites program and how it’s helping to improve the health of Americans by focusing on the workplace, call Carmen Parker at 260-241-3898 or visit

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