The Business of Health and Wellness: Living and Working in The Woodlands, Texas
The coronavirus pandemic has heightened our awareness of the importance of health and wellness at home and in the workplace. Throughout its over 46-year history, The Woodlands, Texas, has been designed and developed specifically with a healthy environment and lifestyle top-of-mind. The Woodlands’ unprecedented 7,665 acres of open green space represent 28% of the award-winning master planned community, including 220 miles of hike and bike trails and 148 parks that serve the vital need for exercise, play, and connection with nature.
As companies seek to entice and retain today’s top employees, The Woodlands continues to attract attention from companies, as well as homebuyers, who want to work and live in the community. The over 68,000 employees of The Woodlands-based companies continue to appreciate the invigorating workplace wellness programs and the natural outdoors.
How the Howard Hughes Corporation integrated workplace wellness for office tenants
The Howard Hughes Corporation, the developer of The Woodlands, has integrated workplace wellness for its office tenants through its Wellness 360 program, created to improve health outcomes for employees. With fitness centers in each of the office buildings, wellness programs include Wellness Wednesdays, Lunch & Learns, Wellness Speaker Series, biometric screenings, FitSpot with personal training and boot camps and fun team challenges.
“With approximately 2,200 businesses, including seven Fortune 500 companies having a major presence here, our community offers an ideal combination of nature and urban walkability in The Woodlands Town Center,” says Jim Carman, President of the Houston region for The Howard Hughes Corporation. “Our environment plays an integral role in our workplace wellness programs and in the active outdoor lifestyle of our tenants and residents.”
“We have the opportunity to exercise outdoors on the beautiful nature-laden shore of Lake Woodlands after work in our office backyard,” says New Century Financial President Nel Somarriba. “The physical and emotional connection has boosted our company culture. This balanced engagement stands second only to the health knowledge gained by all who participate.”
Many tenants take further steps and offer a wide range of vital programs designed to have a positive impact on employee morale, and to encourage increased productivity and, most importantly, health and happiness. These programs include bloodwork lab/weight loss/BMI index assessments, stress/anxiety/depression screenings, employee assistance programs and ergonomic desk and chair checks.
Strike LLC, one of the fastest growing privately held pipeline/facilities and energy
infrastructure solutions providers, is headquartered in Hughes Landing in The Woodlands, and is having great success with its wellness programs.
“Strike values the importance of staying healthy so we encourage our employees to get their annual checkups,” explains Strike Human Resource Benefits Specialist Shavondalyn Johnson. “To inspire physical activity, we have an on-site gym in The Woodlands and provide reimbursements for gym memberships company-wide. The key to wellness at Strike is awareness, so we make great efforts to communicate wellness benefits and opportunities to our employees.”
Health and wellness are purposefully woven into The Woodlands to create a lifestyle that’s easy for tenants, employees, and residents to access and maintain in their personal and workplace lives. In addition, The Woodlands boasts a renowned medical hub that is home to five of the top medical providers, in the Houston area, as well as internationally. Providers include Memorial Hermann, Houston Methodist, CHI St. Luke’s Health, Texas Children’s Hospital and MD Anderson Cancer Center.
“Where others can find it challenging to incorporate health and wellness into their lives, we don’t, because it’s already part of The Woodlands’ DNA,” explains resident Mindy Reynolds.
“For example, our family bikes to school, shops the Saturday morning farmers market, spectates the annual Ironman and marathon—which has inspired our family to exercise more, plays at local parks, listens to concerts at The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, often goes on art sculpture hunts and enjoys weekend water sports on Lake Woodlands.”
The Woodlands offers an outstanding combination of a high quality of life with a focus on health and wellness in a low-tax, business-friendly environment—making it one of the nation’s highly sought-after communities.