Villa Providence of Shediac

At the Villa Providence in Shediac, one of the largest nursing homes in the province, there have traditionally been a number of courses and extra-curricular wellness activities available for patients. The next step to enhance wellness at Villa Providence was to develop a program specific to employees.

So in January 2012, the group implemented a “Biggest Loser” program designed to encourage weight-loss through healthier eating and exercise.

The program was originally overseen by Villa Providence’s in-house dietitian, who kept track of measurements, weigh-ins, body mass index, and a comparison of body-fat percentage and lean muscle weight. Roughly fifty percent of employees took part.

Staff members were instrumental in keeping one another motivated, as there were times during the program’s six month duration that participants relied on each other’s support to stay focused on their goals.

Although the initiative started out looking for a single winner who lost the most weight, it soon became clear that all participants were making significant strides in improving their health, weight and lifestyle. It was therefore decided that everyone who took part deserved, and eventually received, a recognition prize. There were also two larger prizes, one awarded to the participant who lost the most body fat, and the other given to the participant who took the most steps, gauged by pedometers that all members carried throughout the duration of the program.

The program finished in June 2012, and was a huge success in all respects. Currently, a new program is being lined up for 2013, with an increased focus on healthy eating, and understanding the psychological influences on decisions related to wellness.