By: Steven R. Hicks, Ed.D

SpaceCoast Business met with Jonathan Williams, Director of Health First Pro-Health & Fitness Centers, and Lisa Acosta, Health First wellness supervisor at Health First’s Pro-Health & Fitness Center in Melbourne. It is one of four Pro-Health & Fitness Centers in Brevard County and is an impressive facility for members to exercise and develop a healthier lifestyle. In addition to general membership plans, Pro-Health & Fitness offers corporate plans for companies to provide discounted membership for their employees. Jon and Lisa are there to facilitate corporate membership agreements along with implementing a plan that best suits their employees, and ultimately their business.

SCB: This is a beautiful facility. How do area companies and their personnel take advantage of Pro-Health & Fitness Centers?

Jon Williams: We take pride in getting our communities moving, exercising and living a healthy lifestyle. We also understand the importance of Brevard County’s workforce to be the best they can be in their place of employment. Studies show businesses involved with corporate fitness offerings have less people calling in sick, better morale and increased productivity. We encourage companies to contact Lisa for her assistance in creating a membership plan customized to the company’s needs and desired outcomes.

Lisa Acosta: Pro-Health & Fitness Center locations are close in proximity to area businesses/companies. Therefore, companies typically do not feel the need to bring our services “in house.” However, if desired, we can certainly deliver programming to the business. Pro-Health has the ability to provide Lunch-and-Learns, presentations and even exercise programs either on site at the business or in our Pro-Health & Fitness Centers. We want to make sure that we’re offering solutions to help our corporate partners become healthier.

SCB: Is it still true—I’ve read that a well implemented corporate wellness program pays for itself in saved time from people being out sick?

Lisa Acosta: Absolutely. Jon and I are aware of the statistics that circle corporate wellness programs. We know that individuals who exercise and maintain a healthy lifestyle will spend 33 to 50 percent less on healthcare costs. We also know that depression and obesity are the top two chronic health conditions driving up health related costs for employers. Seventy percent of U.S. employers now offer some form of employee wellness program

SCB: So, it is one phone call and it’s done kind of thing?

Jon Williams: Companies with 10 or more employees have an option to offer a discounted Pro-Health & Fitness membership to their employees and family, at no cost to the company. Employers also have an option of paying for their employees’ (and family if desired) memberships at a discounted rate. In some cases, a company will cover their employees’ memberships and employees will reimburse their employer a portion of the monthly dues. Pro-Health can customize membership agreements to best fit the partnering company’s needs.

SCB: Is one of the classes you offer on diet?

Lisa Acosta: Yes. We have a Registered and Licensed Dietitian/Nutritionist on staff.

Jon Williams: We have LivFit, a successful 15 week lifestyle, nutrition and weight loss program.

SCB: So, if my company pays for me to be part of this health center and I come in, these are all the services that are available to me?

Lisa Acosta: Membership includes an exercise orientation, full access to group exercise classes, pools, exercise equipment, racquetball, gymnasiums (Merritt Island and Viera) and an indoor track. Fee-for-service programs are personal training, massage, boot camps, TRX, Pilates reformer classes, swim lessons and LivFit (dietary program).

Jon Williams: We encourage companies to become involved in the health of their employees. It’s more than fitness, it’s team building and a great morale booster. Pro-Health & Fitness Centers provide a solid platform for employers and their staff to become happier, healthier, and more productive.

SCB: And they just have to make the first call to get started.

Lisa Acosta: Yes!