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How 5 Springfield Companies Work Out At Work

From managing wellness on the road to an impressive 3,000-pound weight loss success story, five SWMO business prove you can launch a corporate wellness program no matter your industry or size.

By Ettie Berneking

Mar 05 2018 at noon

Photo by Ettie BernekingEmployees at Salon Service Group start their day with tai chi.

A few years ago, building a yoga room in the middle of an office building would have seemed rebellious. Unless Richard Simmons was making a surprise guest appearance, a midday workout was likely not on the schedule. Today, yoga rooms aren’t the only new addition to the workplace. Personal trainers, meditation rooms, in-house gyms and office wellness programs are growing in popularity. Now Springfield businesses are getting creative with how they help employees incorporate wellness into life at the office. Even the typical office footprint is changing to improve the work-life balance, and Grooms Office Environments is helping rejuvenate the outdated office space. But before you start brainstorming a new meditation studio, soak up some inspiration from five Springfield businesses that have added corporate wellness programs to their books.

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Photo courtesy Bass Pro ShopsEmployees at Bass Pro enjoy a jog with one another on the outdoor trail.

Bass Pro Shops Headquarters

Like everything at Bass Pro, the company’s fitness center is top of the line. That’s partly because more than 2,000 employees work out of Bass Pro Shops headquarters, and some 800 are members of the company gym. That, in the eyes of Melissa Bondy, is a big success. As Bass Pro Shops Community & Corporate Wellbeing Director, Bondy is tasked with making sure health and wellness is a core part of the work/life balance at Bass Pro. Luckily, Bondy says Bass Pro’s owner, Johnny Morris, is very focused on wellness. 

At Bass Pro Shops Headquarters, space is not an issue, so when the center’s gym and fitness rooms were designed, Morris was involved with each facility decision. That attention to detail is why the gym’s footprint is divided into two sections. One half is designed with women in mind and provides more privacy, while the other half of the gym houses free weights and cardio equipment. There’s also a basketball court, indoor and outdoor walking trails, and a busy schedule of fitness classes packed with spinning, yoga and more. “This has been really positive for employees,” Bondy says. “Even the healthier food offerings [in the cafeteria] are part of environmental changes that are key to our corporate wellbeing. Associates who are more active are happier, more productive and build stronger relationships at work.”

Photo by Ettie BernekingEmployees at Salon Service Group start their day with tai chi.

Salon Service Group

When Salon Service Group built its new headquarters on the outskirts of Springfield, it knew most of its square footage would be dedicated to meeting rooms and warehouse space. The company was focused on impressive growth projections, and it needed space to flex. But the lack of a dedicated workout room hasn’t stopped associates from incorporating fitness into their daily work routine. The first group workout started with tai chi and had so many attendees, the class was moved into the warehouse. Twice a week, associates gather for a 40-minute workout before starting their work day. When another associate offered to instruct a weekly yoga class, coworkers jumped at the opportunity and now unroll their yoga mats in one of the company’s spacious meeting rooms. “We spread word about these classes old-school,” says Chris Rushton in HR. “We just send out an email asking who would be interested, and people start making plans.”

“We encourage everyone to purposely develop wellness spaces within their organization,” says Victoria Gorham, an account executive at Grooms. Grooms clients include Jack Henry, Prime Trucking, Bass Pro Shops and CoxHealth Network, and it’s seen first-hand how offices are embracing wellness at work. “If a company can dedicate space for a fitness or meditation room, that would be great! But many are limited by their given square footage.” 

Photo courtesy Ollis/Akers/ArneyAlong with the fitness center, the fitness program at Ollis/Akers/Arney includes a full kitchen and a yoga room.

Ollis/Akers/Arney

When Ollis/Akers/Arney unveiled its in-house gym back in 2010, it was partly to prove you didn’t need a huge space to provide employees with a quality workout. Treadmills, free weights and weight machines are packed in and available to employees and their families. Leading the company’s wellness program is Cameron Black, who keeps the monthly schedule primed with lunch-and-learns, incentive programs, informative handouts and success stories. “When you start seeing your coworker losing weight or getting off medications, those people become the leaders of the wellness program,” he says. “That’s when things start to really percolate.” At Ollis, Black trains employees how to use their Fitbits and take part in the company’s monthly step challenge, but he also uses Ollis’s wellness program as an example of what’s possible when consulting other businesses looking to boost the health of their workforce. “My job is to strategize long-term wellness programs,” he says. “Employees who include fitness in their regular routine have higher energy levels. They’re happier. Their claims go down due to fewer injuries and illnesses, and if they do get injured, they return to work a lot quicker.” 

Photo by Brandon AlmsA mix of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and Tabata workouts keeps driver Kenyetta Wells in fine form. If he can’t squeeze a workout into his 30-minute break, Wells attaches his battle rope to the front of his truck and starts swinging away.

Prime Inc.

As Prime Inc.’s Springfield campus has grown, so has the list of driver and associate amenities. That list saw its biggest boom with the completion of the new Millennium Building. Basketball courts, locker rooms, a fitness center, doctors’ offices, personal trainers and workout classes are all available to Prime team members. There’s even an in-house spa. But it’s not just associates using the new facilities. Even Prime’s owner Robert Low regularly drops in for a game of basketball. Prime’s biggest struggle was spreading its corporate wellness program to associates and drivers stationed across the country. With drivers on the road most of the day, fitting in regular fitness and encouraging healthful diets was a lofty goal. But Gary Danielson now serves as the driver health and wellness coach to help drivers focus on fitness even when they’re on the road. Now with just a yoga mat and a few resistance bands, drivers can learn how to use their truck as a piece of fitness equipment.

Photo by Ettie BernekingA look inside SRC Holdings Corp. fitness room.

SRC Holdings Corp.

As a member of SRC’s wellness committee and as an administrative assistant in the logistics division, Carol Rummel knows how competitive her co-workers can be. Every 16 weeks, SRC hosts a company-wide fitness challenge that can range from dropping pounds to gaining control of blood pressure. When some 400 associates joined in a weight loss challenge, the group lost more than 3,000 pounds. “Our CEO Jack Stack is very big on focusing on employee health,” Rummel says. “We’re very fortunate.” The company even has in-house gyms at three locations and a personal trainer on call consultations. It also covers the cost of flu shots, encourages fitness challenges and brings in mobile healthcare to provide routine mammograms. And that corporate wellness committee Rummel is on, it even has subcommittees tasked with promoting smoking cessation, the importance of hydration and scheduling upcoming events and wellness seminars. The committee also rewards a Wellness Champion per division for participating in health challenges and healthy living throughout the year. If the company’s impressive weight loss was any indicator, the team at SRC is not only competitive—they’re motivated.

The Skinny on Workplace Fitness

Pamela Hernandez is the owner and fitness guru behind Thrive Personal Fitness. She’s provided wellness programs and coaching for employees of Hamra Enterprises and Ozark Electric, and has presented wellness seminars at area offices including at Arvest Bank and Central Bank. She’s here to share her tips on how to make a workplace wellness program stick.

1. Address your culture 
A corporate wellness program is not as simple as build it and they will come. You have to make sure employees have dedicated time to work out and that a wellness and work balance is encouraged.Personal Training with Pamela Hernandez

2. Talk with your employees
The first step is to figure out what your employees and figure out their needs and desires.

3. Invest in a health coach
You don’t need a fancy facility to start a wellness program. You’re better off investing in a health coach who can help associates change their habits first.

4. Carve out 10 minutes a day
It’s a misconception that you need a lot of time to focus on health and wellness. You can get in a good workout in just 10 minutes. If someone can dedicate 10 to 15 minutes to walking, stretching or a quick cardio routine, that physical routine will start to evolve. The key is consistency.


Fit & Flare

Whether you want to create a dedicated fitness center or turn a meeting room into a multipurpose space great for yoga and meditation, the team at Grooms Office Environments is here to help. And it’s easier than you think. You don’t need a ton of space or an extravagant budget to provide your employees with a wellness space. Follow these tips from Victoria Gorham with Grooms, and you’ll be on your way to establishing your own wellness program. 

1. Purposely develop a wellness space
These areas could be anything from a meditation, quiet call or lactation room to a multipurpose space that can be used for yoga and fitness classes. Giving your employees areas to nurture their well being outside of their defined work roles will give them a better work/life balance.

2. Don’t let square footage stop you
If a company can dedicate space for a fitness or meditation room, that would be great! But many are limited (or think they are) by their given square footage. People believe they are maxed out on space, but many times a more efficient space plan can give your employees additional settings to support different activities throughout the day.

3. Simply don’t have the room? Change the office environment first.
Sit to Stand desks are ideal but not always feasible depending on role or cost. But standing more doesn’t just have to happen at your desk. Simply removing under-desk trash cans can get employees up and moving more often. Fun fact: When you are seated your metabolism drops by 90 percent, but you can burn 350 extra calories by sitting 2.5 hours less each day.



About Grooms Office Environments: For 40 years, Grooms Office Environments has provided commercial interior design services including space planning, project and move management, healthcare and systems furniture as a full-service Herman Miller dealership. Whether you need to furnish a single office, a new building or even a single workout space, Grooms’ expertise can work for you. Grooms clients include Jack Henry, Prime Trucking, Bass Pro Shops and CoxHealth Network.