The Fitness Fixer
The Fitness Fixer

Functional Fitness as a Lifestyle By Mail Room Workers

Peggy Santamaria wrote me that she was using my work, and my illustration Backman!™ to teach healthy movement to workers for a good day's work without injury and repetitive strain:

"Hi Dr. Bookspan,
"Very excited to report that I met with the Appalachian Crossroads staff and the trainees of the Mail Room Service Unit. The goal is to connect developmentally disabled adults with a paycheck for good work done well.

"I had created some Backman!™ flash cards illustrating some of the daily work in the mail room. These were distributed to the trainees with explanations for the staff about our new program. Then I met with the trainees and talked more about functional fitness.

"We then practiced some of the healthy movements needed for their work day. We took pictures to document their great understanding of what we are working toward. I will make these photos into small posters that can hang in their workspace.

"They are all excited about what we are doing and are proud to be part of the Academy.

Here is Ms. Santamaria's update with the successful outcome plus great photos. I personally congratulate and thank each participant:

"Hi Dr. Bookspan:
"Here is an update on Academy activity. As you know, I am working with staff and trainees at Appalachian Crossroads, a private nonprofit human service agency that primarily serves developmentally disabled adults in Garrett County, Maryland.

"One of the Appalachian Crossroads work units provides a "mail room" service to local businesses. The trainees in the mailroom provide support, expertise, and manpower to process everything from daily statements to sales catalogs to monthly newsletters. More than 1.2 million pieces of mail go through the hands of 18 employees each year.

"As the Academy’s director of Developmental Abilities I set about creating a program using your work and Fitness Fixer to help the trainees work in a healthy way and be functionally fit. I met with staff and trainees of the unit to hand out instructional flash cards featuring Backman!™ going through the daily functions required in the mail room.

"The Appalachian Crossroads folks were super. They got right to it. With the help of staff they were ready to work and demonstrate their functional fitness skills. I took pictures that I am making into small posters for their work area.

"I will continue to work with these men and women as well as others in the custodial service unit, the grounds crew, supported employment, and the day program. It is a privilege to be working for the Academy and sharing your fitness message.
"Peggy Santamaria"

This is a shining example of getting things done well, simply, and intelligently. Thank you Peggy! Thank you Appalachian Crossroads staff and mail room!

Readers, The Mail Room is teaching us how to keep things healthy and smart. They are role models and generous guides for all of us. Use what they have done, and send your stories of using this work for Good.

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Photos © copyright Dr. by Peggy Santamaria
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About the Author


Dr. Bookspan is an award-winning scientist whose goal is to make exercise easier and healthier.