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HealthSmart breakfast focuses on reducing stress. Plus, these are the most fit companies of 2019
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Hundreds fill the Gainesville Civic Center on Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019, for the annual Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce’s HealthSmart Expo. The expo featured free health screenings for blood pressure, body mass index, cholesterol, triglyceride and glucose, carotid arteries, hearing and vision, as well as spine checks. - photo by Scott Rogers

A crowd gathered Wednesday morning at the Gainesville Civic Center learned about how prevalent stress is in our culture and got a few tips on how to handle it. 

Using a cue in the everyday routine can help employees remember to stop and take deep breaths, leaving them more productive, presenter and author Eric Langshur told the audience — for example, breathing in for four counts and out for four counts at a designated time or at the same time as another daily activity. 

He also emphasized reducing distractions that often come with cellphones and finding a balance between anxiety and boredom in order to optimize productivity.

The breakfast Oct. 16 was the kickoff of the annual HealthSmart expo. 

An announcement was also made about winners of the 2019 Most Fit Company Awards. They are as follows:

  • Large company (251 or more employees): Mars Wrigley Confectionery, 4500 Atlanta Highway, Flowery Branch. The manufacturer works to provide healthy choices in its cafeteria and vending machines. It has an on-site fitness center and outdoor track. Employees are also encouraged to complete an annual biometric screening and health assessment. 

  • Medium company (51-250 employees): Carroll Daniel Construction, 330 Main St., Gainesville. The company offers yoga classes, walking competitions and sponsors employee kickball and softball teams. Its newly constructed office includes a rooftop gym and standing desks. Last year, it held a “stress-free week” including on-site massages, visits with puppies and pumpkin smashing.

  • Small company (50 or fewer employees): Watkins Total Healthcare, 961 Green St. NE, Gainesville. The practice offers nutritious snacks in the office, classes on healthy eating and newsletters including health information. All employees have access to at-cost medical services and free chiropractic services. 

Vendors lined rooms in the Civic Center offering screenings and wellness information during the expo.

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