More than a few City employees spend the better part of the day in front of a computer screen. Regardless if the work involves poring over legal documents, analyzing financial reports or finalizing purchase orders, sitting in one place for most of the day can be both stressful and unhealthy. To kick that sedentary habit, many employees have taken advantage of using the free City Hall gym located on the sixth floor. In fact, the very convenient amenity is helping workers become healthier and more productive.
“I make it a point to go up to the gym three times a week,” says Edgar Leonard, Director of Facilities in the Facility Building Maintenance Department. His combination of cardio and resistance training not only helps him feel better, he also finds the added benefit of mental sharpness.
“I am able to deliver great customer service.” “We have been going up to the gym and working out ever since it opened,” says Laurie Ledesma-Garcia, legal assistant in the City Attorney’s Office.
“We do weight-training and cardio and we usually go and exercise during our lunch hour.”
For Ledesma-Garcia, there is strength in numbers, as she is often accompanied by other employees in her department like Paralegal Noemi Perez.
“For me, the biggest benefit is getting some activity to take a break from sitting at my desk all day,” adds Perez.
For Utilities Code Enforcer Angel Hernandez, the gym was more than just a place to take a break. After being diagnosed as pre-diabetic, Hernandez, who has worked for the City for 31 years, made a commitment to get in shape by going to the gym three to four times a week. His regimen, which included running on the treadmill and lifting weights, helped him drop 60 pounds. Today, he does not have diabetes.
Hernandez, 56, admits that he sometimes considers skipping his workout, but the thought of being around for his grandkids motivates him to take that elevator ride to the 6th floor and hop onto the treadmill. “As they say, a body in motion stays in motion,” he says. “The main thing is to stay active.”
Article Written By Jesse De Leon, Public Information Officer
Photos By Gabriela Morrow