DELANO, Minn. - A playground is where kids test their limits and burn off energy. Now those who make playground equipment are proving recess isn't just child's play.
At Landscape Structures in Delano, it's recess time. Its employee health program has brought back the fun from employees' childhoods with regular games of hacky sack, four square and tether ball.
Holly Williams, Wellness Program Director for Landscape Structures said, "We realize the impact that play has on people's happiness and health and quality of life and so we wanted to design a program that encouraged employees to get out and play."
There are races too.
Customer Experience Manager Tracy Bistodeau said with a big smile, "Gunny sack races, just the smell... remember the gunny sack smell? It's like, 'Oh, I remember doing this as a kid for sure!'"
In addition to daily recess breaks, teams compete once a week. Bistodeau's team won the trophy this summer. She said, "There's a lot of pride in this trophy."
While a simple game of four-square is not exactly running a marathon, the recess breaks have had a big impact. Bistodeau said they improve focus and create great relationships among employees.
Recess and other past fitness programs at Landscape Structures have really inspired people to move. Williams said, "Thirty-two percent of our population has reduced their BMI.
We have seen employees who have thought they would never be running, going out and running races regularly."
Landscape Structures Engineer, Dan Isaacs, lost 60 pounds over the past few years.
He loves this summer's fitness program of recess, and said, "It helps morale. It's highly contagious. When you first think of it, it's kind of corny but as soon as you start doing it, you just can't stop."
He designs the playground equipment and said recess gets the creative juices flowing. He believes all adults should get the chance to be a kid again.
(Copyright 2012 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)