CHARLOTTE, N.C .-- They are working out in the dark, at lunch and in between.
The Ballantyne YMCA Corporate Wellness Center is sponsoring a corporate fitness challenge that is getting businesses together, moving and competing with a common goal: to get employees healthy.
Even in the dark, YMCA instructor Lisa Johnson is motivating her group.
"We're going to stay in the business park," she tells a group of six walkers.
Johnson has a light on her baseball cap to keep the group safe, and a route that should take the group about a half an hour or so to walk.
"The goal is to have corporations have healthier employees which benefits them in less sick days and better health care costs," she says.
So far, thirty corporations in Ballantyne Corporate Park have signed up to compete. The biggest number of participants walk and train together at lunch.
Byron Nickens is one of those employees taking the challenge. Nickens works for State Farm, but he's walking with employees from the Better Business Bureau, Snyder-Lance, Bissell, Bank of America and Movement Mortgage, all competing for prizes.
The person who loses the most body fat will win a free massage or a month at the YMCA. The business with the most participants will also win a prize.
They may win in other areas too. A study by the CDC shows companies with wellness programs save 25 percent in absenteeism and healthcare costs.
Rebecca Dutton is new to Charlotte, but came to the challenge to meet people and lose weight.
"After you sit all day in an office chair, or you train all day on your feet, it helps you to get the blood flowing," she said.
Currently, every branch of the YMCA has a corporate fitness initiative. If you'd like to learn more about the YMCA's Corporate Challenge, click here.