PARE Laying the Foundation for a Healthy Office

For Kasey Bingmer, a new decade brings new opportunities both in the office and at home. Recently engaged to her fiancé Kyle, the lease administrator has a lot to look forward to but a lot to balance, too.

“I want to get in better shape for my wedding,” Bingmer said. “I’m tired all of the time and I want to change that and better myself.”

Timing couldn’t be better for Bingmer’s healthy living journey as it coincides with a fitness initiative in the Planning, Architecture and Real Estate (PARE) office. Last year, PARE received a Buckeye Wellness Innovators grant that funded weights, resistance bands, fitness balls, yoga mats and under-desk ellipticals.

Marie Tullidge, a real estate coordinator, is a wellness innovator that helped transform PARE’s office space located at the Gateway on High Street.

“Work takes up a ton of our time,” Tullidge said. “If you can have helpful and encouraging reminders in that part of your life, I think it can make a difference for our coworkers.”

Bingmer agrees, saying she thinks having the equipment is very beneficial. “If you’re just sitting around all day, you might get a little bored, but being able to have equipment nearby is really nice,” she said. 

PARE leadership spearheaded the healthy workspace initiative during its move to Gateway from McCracken Power Plant two years ago.

“We have a ton of natural light,” Tullidge said. “We have windows along both sides, a patio for people to use for meetings and focus groups.”

All employees are in quads with stand-up desks and have storage pedestals. They also share a common table and have access to focus rooms, where they can make phone calls, stretch and use yoga mats. Staff use standing conference tables and incorporate walking meetings regularly. 

Tullidge says the under-the-desk ellipticals and the dumbbells are getting the most use. 

“They serve as reminders,” Tullidge said. “I like to go out and take a lap every now and then, but it’s just kind of hard to do that. The Ohio weather is sometimes horrible for us from the south!”

Bingmer also exercises outside of the office. In fact, she’s taking part in a 30-day challenge, so working out at work is an added bonus.

“It’s now or never to make yourself feel better inside and out,” she said.

If you are interested in making your workspace into a healthy office, visit https://wellness.osu.edu and look for the next round of wellness innovator grants.