There's something about the promise of a new year that makes so many of us resolve to start fresh and change our bad habits. The most common resolution, made by a third of Canadians, involves improving their fitness and nutrition.

Unfortunately, these goals are difficult to keep for many people, and most fail to stick with their resolution within a few weeks of the beginning of the year. But the chance of success is higher when people have the support of their friends, family and workplace. At Roche, we recognize that finding time to focus on yourself can be challenging when you’re balancing your family and work life. That’s why we support our employees’ personal goals through corporate wellness initiatives and on-site fitness facilities.

Kristen White, a Corporate Finance Specialist in our Pharmaceuticals Division knows first-hand about this journey and the strength, as well as dedication it takes to become healthier and more physically fit. During college, Kristen’s weight began to creep up and thus she began her struggle with the scales, especially following the birth of her son.  Kristen experienced a number of serious health issues related to her weight and felt insecure about her appearance. She resolved to live a more healthy and balanced lifestyle.

As Kristen explains, “One day I was driving and I felt like I was having a heart attack. I had chest pain and burning, and ended up going to the hospital. I was having severe health problems in my early 20s, when I should have been at my most healthy. I realized that I needed to get my life back on track, especially because I had a young child to take care of. I wanted to be a good role model for my son and to be healthy and active enough to play with him.”

Kristen started educating herself on nutrition and portion size, and exercise. She learned how to eat differently, and began going to the gym nearly every day. She started keeping a workout journal and tracking her progress. Through hard work and commitment to her goals, Kristen lost 110 lbs and has maintained her weight loss and healthy, active lifestyle for more than 10 years. Moreover, she’s happier and more confident as a result of her transformation.

Making these healthy choices and sticking with them takes drive, willpower and dedication, but many people don’t feel they have the time, energy, or resources to help them through this journey. When Kristen joined our team in 2015, she was thrilled to learn that Roche is a company that supports a healthy lifestyle, which helps people stay committed to their fitness and health goals.

“I’m really grateful for the wellness programs and services that we have at Roche,” says Kristen. “With an excellent on-site gym and a cafeteria that offers convenient & healthy food at reasonable prices, working here allows every opportunity to make healthy choices and live an active and balanced life.”

Our business is health – the core of what we all need to live long, happy and productive lives. This purpose is also at the heart of our approach to employee wellness. We recognize that being well means different things to different people. It can include many dimensions of life – fitness, nutrition, balance and more. And we appreciate that these goals can be challenging and are more achievable with easy, immediate access to the right tools, resources and information. Both our Pharmaceuticals and Diagnostics Divisions have on-site fitness centres with daily classes to help employees achieve their goals.  

In our Pharma Division in Mississauga, two full-time staff from Tri Fit Inc. are available to help employees reach their health and wellness objectives through a variety of classes, programs and resources. In total, there are 18 classes offered each week, such as boxing, weight training, and yoga. Employees are encouraged to participate in programs and challenges that help them develop healthy habits in fun and exciting ways.

These programs and fitness classes help motivate employees like Seema Lopez, Manager,  Customer Supply in our Pharmaceuticals Division. Last year, Seema was the winner of our “Last 10 Inches Boot Camp” program, which asked employees to set personal goals, track their progress and spur each other on through friendly competition.

“What I love most about fitness at Roche is how easy it is to stay fit and participate in the programs,” she says. “We’re encouraged to go to the gym any time we have a break during the day or whenever it’s convenient for us, and this has had a huge impact on my mindset. When you’re balancing family and career, it’s easy to put yourself on the backburner. Thankfully, I don’t have to do that.”

With so much to do in our busy lives, it can be hard to squeeze in the recommended 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity, plus strengthening and stretching each week. At the end of the day, successfully setting and achieving fitness goals comes down to balance and compatibility with your lifestyle, which is why it’s so important for us support our employees’ goals and allow them to become their best self.

Male and female employees working out in a gym

January 11, 2018

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