CHUNG-LI, Taiwan — When Y.Y Yang, a clinical nurse working at Ford Lio Ho (FLH), found out during a health checkup in 2011, that 37 percent of her colleagues suffered from hyperlipidemia, and that 28 percent of that group could be defined as overweight or obese, she decided to take action.
The idea of an obesity control program dawned on Yang and her colleagues at the FLH clinic office. As a company which gives priority to employees’ health, Yang’s proposal was swiftly approved by the management and adopted as part of the FLH health promotion activity — an ongoing project that won the regional winner of 2011 Excellence in Health Award of the annual President’s Health and Safety Awards (PHSA).
With funding support from the Taiwan Bureau of Health Promotion, the clinic office is able to carry out the weight-control program by cooperating with a local hospital. Two classes — one nutrition seminar and one exercise session — are held on a weekly basis at the company; Yang and her colleagues also send out emails containing weight-control tips and health-related news through Target Vision, the internal communication channel at FLH. In order to encourage employee participation, the participants who work hard on the program are provided with incentives, as their experience will be shared on Target Vision as well.
“To be honest, I hesitated about joining the sessions at the beginning,” said Steven Cheng, environmental control engineer at FLH, and a participant in the Obesity Control Program. “But after 16 classes, I lost some weight and had lower blood pressure and an improved blood sugar level. I feel great. I continue taking the classes and eating a healthy diet now. My BMI (body mass index) started with 30 when I first joined the program, and now it is 27; my beltline is also reduced to 97.5 cm now, from 103 cm.”
FLH’s fight against obesity was once again, for the second consecutive time, recognized by the PHSA as one of the global winners of the 2012 Excellence in Health Award.
“Obesity is a growing problem here in Taiwan,” said Mark Chi, HR operations manager, FLH, who is in charge of the health promotion activities. “We have a regular health checkup for all employees, and we contact those who we think have potential health issues and encourage them to take part in the obesity control program.”
The clinical team’s efforts have been highly praised by John Lawler, chairman and CEO, Ford Motor Greater China Region.
“The wonderful work that you have done on the Obesity Control Program is something which we should all be very proud,” he said in a video congratulating the team for winning the award. “As we all know, obesity has become prevalent in many countries. With new challenges in our business environment, it is critical that we ensure the health and safety of our employees, as we work together on Ford’s exciting transformation. I want to thank you for all the hard work you’ve done.”
“We do a follow-up check every eight weeks,” added Y.Y Yang, “Around 90 percent of the participants continue to be in good shape.”
Yang said she was surprised when she heard that the team won the award.
“It is a normal part of our daily operation here already,” she said. “We will continue doing that in future.”
Apart from the obesity control system, FLH health promotion activities also include blood donations, CPR training, cancer screening and massage sessions, which aim to improve the employees’ health in a comprehensive manner.
Ford employees at the weekly exercise training.