Omaha's VA employees exercise together during lunch break
OMAHA,Neb(FOX42KPTM)-Omaha's VA Medical Center is giving employees a way to work off some stress in the middle of the work day.
"We look forward to coming out here and taking a break from what we're doing on the inside,"Lori Jensen said. She's a social worker at the center.
At least three days week, employees head to a shady spot on the grass and get ready to move.
"Being outside is wonderful, the breeze is coming across the grass," Jensen said.
The workout isn't meant to break a sweat, instead the workers practice Tai-Chi and Qigong. They're ancient practices that can help improve health and wellness.
"I wanted exercises that everyone would be comfortable with to do at work so you're not getting too hot and just over exert yourself," Julia Berry said. She's on the employee wellness committee chair.
The idea came about through the VA's new program called Whole Health System.
"If we take care of ourselves we can pass it on and take better care of our veterans," Berry told FOX 42.
The instructor is actually a veteran himself.
"For me, it really helped me sleep better, it's helped with depression and it's helped with pain," John Cavanaugh said. He's an Air Force Veteran.
Soon, the patients will be able to join in the classes.
"This new whole health system is our opportunity to expand those services to all veterans at our Omaha, Lincoln and Grand Island campuses," Tabitha Carlson said. Carlson is a clinical coordinator.
Next week, they will have a big health food event with the employees.
People will bring in healthy recipes and a local chef will stop in to cook.