OTO Development Recognized as an American Heart Association Platinum Fit-Friendly Worksite

July 15, 2016 | Awards

OTO Development Recognized as an American Heart Association Platinum Fit-Friendly Worksite

OTO Development has been awarded the Platinum-Level Fit-Friendly Worksite Award by the American Heart Association. First recognized in 2015 with a Gold-Level Award, OTO is among a select few companies to earn Platinum recognition. Out of 5,000 applicants annually, less than 700 earn the Platinum Award.

“As we continue to grow, cultivating a healthy, supportive environment is a top priority; the results we’ve seen from our health programs reverberate into our performance as a company,” remarked VP of Human Resources Sonia Santana. “Health-focused workplaces are a priority for Americans, and we’re confident this recognition will aid our recruitment as we continue to grow.”

The American Heart Association recognizes employers across the nation prioritizing healthy employees and implementing health-oriented programs, activities, and processes in the workplace. Platinum-level employers:

  • Offer employees physical activity options in the workplace.
  • Increase healthy eating options at the worksite.
  • Promote a wellness culture in the workplace.
  • Implement at least nine criteria outlined by the American Heart Association in the areas of physical activity, nutrition and culture.
  • Demonstrate measurable outcomes related to workplace wellness.

For 2016’s Platinum Award, OTO maintained all Gold-Level practices from 2015’s recognition, and added a Worksite Wellness Program that is offered through local partners. The Worksite Wellness Program, sponsored by the Mary Black Foundation, is implemented locally by YMCA Spartanburg.  The program brings healthy initiatives and activities into participating businesses and worksites including,  Heart-Healthy Lunch & Learns (covering topics like Nutrition Basics, Cardiovascular Health, and SMART Goal Setting); 3-month Fitness Challenge measuring flexibility, strength, and endurance; corporate discount to local gyms, free access to on-site gym, group training twice weekly with personal trainer on site, and more. 

The Fit-Friendly Worksites program is a catalyst for positive change in the American workforce by helping worksites make their employees’ health and well-being a priority. American employers are losing an estimated $225.8 billion a year because of healthcare expenses and health-related losses in productivity, and those numbers are rising. Many American adults spend most of their waking hours at sedentary jobs. Their lack of regular physical activity raises their risk for a host of medical problems, such as obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes. Employers face $12.7 billion in annual medical expenses due to obesity alone. The American Heart Association is working to change corporate cultures by motivating employees to start walking, which has the lowest dropout rate of any physical activity.

            Recognition as a Fit-Friendly Worksite supports companies in many ways, including recruitment of new employees, employee satisfaction and organizational health, and supports and strengthens the business community at large. OTO’s fit-friendly initiatives often tie back to their hometown of Spartanburg, South Carolina, where the company competes in run-walks for local charities. This year, the company began sponsoring and providing runners for My Team Triumph – a local organization that enables disabled runners to participate in races through the use of running carts.

“Motivation to make changes in the community drives participation,” remarked Aimee Cheek, Director of eCommerce and Health & Fitness Committee Chair. “We’re so excited our team members are embracing a healthy lifestyle and really making changes to benefit them in the long run. To be recognized by the American Heart Association for two consecutive years is an honor, and we’ll continue to incorporate this initiative into our workplace.”


For more information about the Fit-Friendly Worksites program and how it’s helping to improve the health of Americans by focusing on the workplace, visit heart.org.


About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. Our mission drives everything we do. To improve the lives of all Americans, we provide public health education in a variety of ways. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or join us, call 1-800-AHA-USA1 or any of our offices around the country, or visit heart.org.

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