As a long-term pharmaceutical employer on island, PHI Pharmacy has been reaping the benefits of getting its personnel enrolled in the Gold's Gym Saipan's corporate membership program, which promotes wellness in the workplace.
Bruce Cohen, pharmacist and owner of PHI Pharmacy, said the company initially got involved in the program last December and he has worked with Gold's Gym Saipan since then so they can avail of its corporate membership.
“I can see that the employees' morale has picked up, people have actually lost weight and feel better and healthier. Camaraderie has been built up. It's getting to know each other at a different level, not just the work level but on a more personal level. We're getting closer,” he told Saipan Tribune.
Gold's Gym Saipan's Corporate Wellness Programs are designed to keep employees happy and healthy by enabling them to reach their fitness goals, thus increasing the company's success through enhanced employee productivity and performance.
Studies show that high levels of stress, excess body weight, and other multiple risk factors are related to increased healthcare costs and illness-related absenteeism. Corporate wellness programs aid in providing education and motivation to individual health, and benefits include decreased rates of illness or injuries, reduced absenteeism, and improved morale and lower stress levels.
Gold's Gym Saipan offers monthly membership plans based on a one-year contract, which provides benefits such as lower membership rates, access to an array of group exercise classes, and other complimentary perks.
“This is an economical way of increasing the morale of the company. It doesn't cost a lot of money. We see doing this for a long time,” said Cohen, adding that PHI Pharmacy pays 50 percent of the corporate membership fees while the employees take on the other half through payroll deduction.
Cohen, who has been a member of Gold's Gym since it opened on island, said that besides having the staff healthier and in better shape, they have also changed their dietary regimen.
“It's a whole lifestyle change when you make that commitment to start exercising and seeing improvement in your body,” he said. “The rest of it follows. We're talking about longevity and quality of life and I've seen such change in our people.”
Marivec Callejo, pharmacy specialist for 10 years and a cancer patient, agrees. “Having been enrolled in the Gold's Gym corporate membership program has made me more conscious of what I eat nowadays. I would have more fruits and vegetables but sometimes, I would treat myself in restaurants if I know I've done well with my gym routine.”
Save for occasional walks in the park, Callejo confessed that she didn't exercise as much in the past. These days, though, she looks forward to being in the gym with co-workers. Even her husband was inspired to join her in her workout because of the many advantages it provides.
“I've lost two inches in the waistline and [about] 10 pounds in a span of one and a half months,” reveals Callejo, chuckling. “I can now wear my old jeans from a decade ago and I think it's awesome, not just physically. At work, I can feel that I am more invigorated throughout the day and my outlook in life is different, more positive.
Hasmin Tana, who has been with PHI Pharmacy for almost three years, attests to the improved relationships among her colleagues. “Previously, we would bond over food because we really love to eat. Today, we would all look forward to going to the gym after work.”
Tana revealed that she used to be a member at Gold's Gym but did not sign up after a while because of the fees. “With the corporate membership fees, being a member has become more affordable at this time when everybody feels the impact of the general economic situation on island.”
Moreover, Tana said, she has expanded her network of friends to other gym buddies, particularly from her favorite group classes, Zumba and Steps.
“Since I went back to the gym, I've been mindful of becoming healthier but in a way that you also enjoy and have fun,” she added.
Gold's Gym Saipan's Joel Tudela said other companies have already signed up for their corporate membership programs. As more businesses enroll, more exciting promotions can be expected from the only gym on Saipan that offers corporate memberships.
“We want to make our group programs more fun for everyone,” he said.
PHI's Cohen is urging other employers to sign up their staff with Gold's Gym Saipan for its cost-effective membership plans for the entire company. “The benefits are hard to measure monetarily but it makes the workplace a much happier place to be. I encourage everyone to exercise, be it corporate or not. I think that lifestyle modification and taking responsibility for your own health is the bottom line.”
Gold's Gym Saipan is located in Garapan Central Park and is open from Monday to Friday, 5:30am to 9pm; Saturday from 7am to 7pm; and Sunday from 10am to 6pm. For more information, call 233-4000.