KatzAbosch was recently named among Greater Baltimore’s Healthiest Employers 2011

Many of Heather Bauer’s work friendships were cultivated on the run.

The KatzAbosch CPA is a member of the accounting firm’s run club. While running might be an individual exercise, Bauer said the camaraderie developed among club participants enhances her physical being and strengthens interoffice bonds.

“It not only keeps you healthy but you become more involved with coworkers,” Bauer said.

KatzAbosch’s commitment to a healthy work place includes building relationships among its employees. Those bonds add a level of support for employees seeking to live healthier lives.

“Having that support ­— when others are doing it — it makes you want to do it too,” Bauer said. KatzAbosch gets many of its healthy living program suggestions from employees. Perhaps that’s part of the reason shareholder tenure with the firm averages 22 years. It also sponsors weight watchers programs and it picks up a portion of its employees’ expenses.

For one hour each week, KatzAbosch employees do office yoga and can take a break from the grind with some stress-reducing, body-refreshing exercise.

Human Resources Director Lynda Runkles said in-house yoga sessions help employees reboot themselves physically and mentally. “We see more production,” she said.

Chief Operating Officer Arlene Ciroula says KatzAbosch hopes to build employee loyalty by crafting a corporate culture that promotes physical and mental fitness. Ciroula said the firm provides activities designed to help ease the mental strain on its employees.

“It requires optimizing one’s physical self,” Ciroula said. Healthier employees also translates into lower insurance premiums, she said.

Bauer likes KatzAbosch’s diversity of healthy living programs.

“There are different options,” she said. “It’s not just running or yoga. People can pick things they are more inclined to do.”

Yoga instructor Jan Luber said KatzAbosch employees benefit from stress-relieving midday yoga breaks.

“They are surprised how much better they feel and they are more alert getting back to work,” Luber said.

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