Updated: Wednesday, 31 Oct 2012, 11:53 PM EDT
Published : Wednesday, 31 Oct 2012, 11:53 PM EDT
VINCENNES, IND. (WTHI) - A southern Indiana county looks to save some money by getting its employees healthier.
Knox County already has a wellness program that includes a nurse who checks with workers at the various county facilities.
Officials are now converting an empty facility into a fitness center as part of the wellness effort.
The trick in this new fitness center near the Knox County courthouse is to find a treat in physical activity.
The project isn't quite complete, but already some employees are giving the exercise equipment an early workout.
Auditor Sharon Duke says the idea is break the sedentary life style of many county workers.
"Well, we're hoping to get people fit," said Duke. "Get them up moving, instead of sitting behind a desk and going home and watching television. They can come in before work, after work, over the weekends, on their lunch hours and exercise."
The county will spend about $6,000 building the workout area.
Crews plan to turn one of the vacant spaces into a weight room and use another area for aerobics.
What's going on in Knox County is about more than shedding inches and pounds.
It's really about making the workforce healthier and saving the county some money at the same time.
"We're hoping that through exercise our circulation will start working better and we will not be going to the doctor as much and our insurance premiums will be down," said Duke.
The maintenance staff is still putting in some work to get the building ready.
Employees say they are excited down to their bones about the facility getting finished and completely open.
"We're all looking forward to it," said Kellie Neighbors who works in the Treasurer's Office. "It feels good to be healthy and strong."
It feels even better when that strength and wellness adds up to savings on health care costs.
The new fitness center is expected to be ready for full operation next week.
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