Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online

HFI release 10.1

The Healthy Facilities Institute (HFI) Promotes Exercise as a Key to Savings, Health

BOISE, ID — The Healthy Facilities Institute (HFI) is endorsing the development of exercise programs for custodians and people who clean for a living, citing both personal and professional benefits.

According to HFI Advisory Board Member John J. Ratey, M.D., Harvard Medical School, in his book, Spark: companies such as Northern Gas, General Electric and Coca Cola, have all seen major health and business improvements after implementing exercise programs for employees.

For example:

•             Northern Gas Company employees who participate in the corporate exercise program take 80 percent fewer sick days.
•             General Electric's aircraft division conducted a study during which medical claims by employees who were members of its fitness center went down 27 percent, while nonmembers' claims rose by 17 percent.
•             Coca-Cola healthcare claims averaged $500 less for its employees who joined the company's fitness program, compared with those who didn't.

HFI recommends the commercial cleaning industry consider these tangible benefits of exercise:

Personal Benefits

•    More self-confidence
•    Better attitude and goal achievement
•    Greater strength and range of motion for cleaning tasks
•    Higher energy levels
•    Better physical condition

Professional Benefits

•    Less absenteeism because of enhanced immunity and health
•    Faster recovery time from accident or illness
•    Lower insurance costs
•    More productivity

For more information, please read the article, “Fit Faculty for Fit Facilities” -

School District Example

Florida School District Requires Fit Custodians (From Occupational & Environmental Medicine list serve, University of N. Carolina School of Public Health)

If your facility has experienced documented benefits of an exercise program, please write to Allen Rathey:

Note: Please consult a physician before starting any exercise program.

About HFI - “The Resource for a Better, Safer, Built Environment”

The Healthy Facilities Institute (HFI) strives to provide authoritative information for creating and maintaining clean, healthy indoor environments. Since buildings are ecosystems, HFI works to address the many interrelated aspects of built environments — such as air, water, energy, materials and resources, green cleaning, indoor environmental quality, waste management, people and more — as an integrated or holistic system. Inasmuch as “Clean” is a metaphor for healthy indoor spaces, HFI also emphasizes prevention and removal of pollutants or contaminants to help ensure optimum conditions for living, learning and working.