Planking, standing desks, moving meetings - just another day at Methodist!

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Methodist Health System is in the business of helping people be well - and this goes for our employees too.

A plank a day keeps the doctor away

During National Fitness Month in May, employees stepped up to the challenge of planking - once a day for a month. What's planking? Check out these pictures!

While it's amusing to see your boss and co-workers planking during work, it's actually not as silly as it looks. Turns out, this simple stance can help reduce back pain, tone your midsection, improve posture, and even perk up your mood. Try it! Shoulder injuries or other physical challenges? Methodist's own execs demonstrated simple modifications so everyone could participate.

"We really had fun with this challenge," says Caroline Susie, manager of employee wellness for Methodist. "Employees even posted pictures of their planks on top of Dallas monuments (using a little creative license with photo software). They're hilarious." As you can see, they included our own hospital buildings in the fun!

What's next? Move more!

Fitness is more than just a designated month. It's about doing simple things every day that help you be healthy. And what's easier than simply moving more?

"I'm sure by now many of you have heard the study that says sitting all day is as bad as smoking. While this may sound unbelievable, sedentary lifestyles really can take a toll over time. It contributes to disability, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even cancer," explains Caroline.

The 65 percent of Methodist's employees that care for patients or take care of our facilities are on their feet all day, but 35 percent are sitting at their desks. "Everyone can benefit from moving more, so we created the Move More Challenge."

The Move More Challenge encourages employees to do at least 80 minutes of exercise or movement outside their normal daily activities for six weeks. This can include walking meetings instead of sitting around a conference table, as well as cleaning your house or mowing the lawn! Employees have created teams. At the end of the six-week challenge, the team with the highest number of exercise minutes a week wins. In addition to bragging rights, prizes include stand-up desks.

Methodist walks the walk

We care about the health and wellness of our employees and we do everything we can to support it. "Fun. Competition. Praise. Recognition. These are great motivators," says Caroline. "We want to help employees incorporate healthy habits into their daily lives, and what better way than to make it fun and support and reward their efforts."

Methodist Health System has been recognized by the American Heart Association as a Platinum-Level Fit-Friendly Worksite for helping employees move more and eat better. We've been voted the No. 1 Healthiest Employer in North Texas by the Dallas Business Journal. And on top of that, we've been among the Best Places to Work in North Texas for 11 straight years. We're in the business of health, and that includes taking care of our employees too.