Health Team

‘Healthiest CEO over 50’ leads by example

Twice a week, John Morrison devotes his lunch hour to ultimate Frisbee. The 51-year-old promotes a healthy lifestyle to his employees at Advanced Energy.

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CARY, N.C. — A sedentary worker can cost a company $1,500 more per year than an active employee. Employers can do a lot to encourage healthy eating and exercise, though – especially if they practice what they preach.

Rex Healthcare awarded employers who do just that.

Twice a week, John Morrison, vice president of operations for Advanced Energy, devotes his lunch hour to ultimate Frisbee. The 51-year-old promotes a healthy lifestyle to his employees.

“I enjoy being active, (and I) try to do it just about every day of the week,” he said.

Morrison’s workers get special health classes and a pingpong table for lunch time or after-work games.

“We subsidize their membership in a health club. We encourage them to have a good work-life balance,” he said.

All that, plus great results on a personal health screening, earned Morrison Rex Healthcare's Healthiest CEO over 50. Many area employers have the same practices, partly because it leads to significant savings in medical claims and expenses.

“I think the place where we really see it is in terms of productivity and people's ability to be at work and avoid sick days,” Morrison said.

Dr. Wayne Smith, with Rex Healthcare, says the greatest health benefits come in fighting obesity, with an eye on the waist line. On average, waists should be less than 35 inches for women and 40 inches for men.

“We call it truncal obesity, meaning that fat accumulates in the abdomen and gets into the liver and leads to a fatty liver,” Smith said.

Metabolic syndrome begins next – a chain reaction that raises the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Changes in diet and exercise are key.

“For many people, just a little bit of modification in this particular syndrome goes a long ways,” Smith said.


The event was put on by Business Leader Media and sponsored by Rex Healthcare and Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina.

  • 2008 Healthiest Company – SAS Institute
  • 2008 Healthiest Male CEO – Greg Sanchez of Tri Properties
  • 2008 Healthiest Female CEO – Meredythe Holmes of Monarch Services
  • 2008 Healthiest CEO over 50 – John Morrison of Advanced Energy
  • 2008 Wellness in the Workplace Award – RTI International
  • 2008 Wellness in the Community Award – Quintiles.
2008 Healthiest Company Honorees:
  • Acroprint Time Recorder Company
  • Biogen Idec
  • Biosignia
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC
  • Bronto Software
  • Capitol Broadcasting Company
  • Capstrat
  • Cisco
  • Coastal Federal Credit Union
  • GlaxoSmithKline
  • Iatria Spa and Health Center
  • Inspire Pharmaceuticals
  • JDavis Architects
  • McDonald-York, Inc.
  • MCNC
  • Novozymes North America, Inc.
  • Progress Energy
  • Quintiles
  • RTI International
  • SAS Institute
  • Storr Office Environments
  • Vaco Raleigh, LLC
  • Wyrick Robbins Yates & Ponton LLP