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Associates Stretch to Keep Mind and Body Healthy

December 2013

We're all familiar with that feeling when our eyes begin to drift shut after lunchtime, but we still have plenty of items left to do. When 2 p.m. rolls around at Purina, associates on the second floor of the C Building gather together for stretching to get rid of that mid-afternoon urge to snooze.

Vice President of Product Supply for Golden Products, Kirk Lawrence, was inspired to initiate a 10-minute stretching session based on similar activities at several of the Golden Products factories.

"[Factories] with stretching programs achieve outstanding results in safety, and the exercise session is conducive to an active mind," Kirk said. "Having our corporate team stretch not only supports the Company's Health and Wellness initiative, but it also aligns us, as a team, with factory associates in our organizational pursuit of zero accidents."

Executive Administrative Assistant (Golden Products), Cathy Jezusko, leads the stretch sessions, which often draw as many as 15 associates in for this daily desk break. While each session varies, some exercises include loosening wrists, gentle back extensions, and a variety of leg movements. Each stretch is designed to move the muscles that tighten from sitting for long periods of time in an office setting. However, despite the focus on physical movement of the muscles and joints during stretch sessions, this is an opportune time for associates to also exercise their minds and grow relationships in a way that distances themselves – for just a few moments – from daily work responsibilities.

Since the early part of 2013, these stretching sessions have been successful in bringing associates together from a variety of functional areas. With a proactive Health & Wellness group (HealthWorks) at Nestlé Purina, our organization will continue to promote healthy minds and bodies both in and out of the workplace.

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