Taking care of our associates’ health and well-being has long been an important part of the culture of Duke Realty. The Duke Realty wellness program takes a holistic approach to maintaining a great work-life balance, and that’s reflected in the enthusiasm, dedication, and resourcefulness associates bring to bear for our tenants and partners. We provide physical, mental and financial health programs and activities, as well as a platform called Vitality that tracks individual wellness. It’s also a great way for all of us to come together as a team.
Our associates use Vitality, a personalized wellness system, to manage their wellness progress. Through Vitality, associates not only earn points for meeting fitness and other wellness goals—like completing nutrition classes, sleep programs, and meditation activities—but also engage in good-natured competition with their Duke Realty teammates in the office and across the country.
Setting and Keeping Wellness Goals
For Bill Casassa, assistant vice president of property management for our Columbus, Ohio market, setting up wellness goals through Vitality was a way to address some growing health concerns.
“I don’t mind saying, I was pushing 240 pounds,” Bill said, “I was approaching scary levels, and on top of that, the aches and pains were making physical activity uncomfortable. I knew I needed to make a change.”
He set goals for the progress he wanted to see—to get his weight and body mass index (BMI) down to healthy levels—and got busy. Vitality helped him stay on track and kept the process fun.
“It sends out reminders so you know what you need to do,” he said. “And when I’d meet a goal, I’d get a notification to my phone to let me know I’d done it.”
At this point, Bill has passed his initial goals for weight and BMI. He’s currently at just 195 pounds, his BMI is in the healthy range, and he’s keeping up his new habits, which include healthy eating. “During the pandemic, I’ve been working from home, and I’ve surrounded myself with healthy snacks that I know I can eat regularly,” he said. Bill’s long-term goals include cutting down on his TV viewing and doing more reading.
Big Rewards for Better Health
Vitality’s teambuilding aspects have been a big part of its appeal for Jackie Rogers, who promotes the wellness program and company benefits during new associate on-boarding for Duke Realty’s Southern California office in addition to her role as office manager and executive administrative assistant.
Already very active when she started at Duke Realty three years ago, Jackie found that Vitality fit very easily and flexibly with her existing wellness goals, which included training for longer fitness events such as a three-day, 30-mile breast cancer walk. Vitality syncs with her Fitbit (as well as with other fitness trackers) so she gets credit for everyday activities like walking around the office or neighborhood without having to log onto the platform.
“The fitness benefit is its own reward, of course, but earning extra rewards for meeting my goals makes the experience even more positive,” Jackie said. Like most participants, she takes advantage of a monthly discount on health insurance premiums. And she uses the gift cards she earns with Vitality points to do holiday shopping.
Friendly competition with co-workers keeps it fun as well. “We have a Wellness Week every year, during which we compete against other offices,” she said. “It’s a great way to encourage our co-workers to get involved, and an opportunity to get people going with some fun and healthy activities.”
Jackie has also used Vitality to track her participation in the financial wellness program that Duke Realty makes available for associates. “It makes it even easier to take advantage of that benefit,” she said.
Getting Started is Easy
Whether you’ve got big goals to improve your health, or you’re already on your way, Vitality makes it simple to get started. One easy way to jump in: a biometric scan. Vitality uses it to find out where you are before you start on your wellness journey. “They take measurements of your height, your weight, and your other vitals,” Jackie said. “It’s ten minutes, and just for completing it they start you off with something like a thousand points.”
Both Jackie and Bill say that keeping their Vitality accounts synced with their fitness wearables, using spare time to complete wellness courses, and planning activities with friends and family have helped to keep their Vitality progress pleasant and painless.
“If you make it fun, it doesn’t feel like you’re working,” Jackie said. “You’re rewarded for doing something that you enjoy, and that you would be doing anyway. It’s a win-win.”
“Find out what works for you, and start now,” Bill said. “Another one of my long-term goals is to help other people find their way. I want them to feel as good as I do.”