Navigation Links
American Heart Association Announces Start! Fit-Friendly Companies

Survey of Employees Proves Worksite Wellness Programs Work

DALLAS, Sept. 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- More than 900 businesses across the nation have been recognized by the American Heart Association's Start! Fit-Friendly Companies Program for promoting physical activity and health in the work place -- a 20 percent increase over last year.

Start! is the American Heart Association's national initiative to get Americans walking. Most adult Americans spend a majority of their waking hours at work -- many in sedentary careers -- increasing their risk for medical problems such as obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes.

Start! Fit-Friendly Companies Program participants implement various options to encourage physical activity, nutrition and culture enhancements such as on-site walking routes, healthy food options in cafeterias and vending machines, annual employee health risk assessments and online tracking tools. Those participants who achieve Platinum recognition -- the highest tier -- take the program a step further by actually measuring the outcomes of their wellness efforts.

Wellness programs have increased in popularity in recent years because they are economical and efficient ways to help offset increasing employee healthcare costs, according to an American Heart Association survey.

The survey also showed that fewer than one in five employees evaluate their employer as encouraging participation in their company wellness program extremely or very well. However, employees in these highly encouraging environments are more likely to participate in and value these programs.

"Physical inactivity is an epidemic in our country -- we just don't get enough exercise," said, Dr. Timothy Gardner, president of the American Heart Association and medical director of the Center for Heart and Vascular Health at the Christiana Care Health System in Delaware. "Physical activity is one of the best preventive health measures there is, and people who find ways to incorporate more walking into their lives gain health benefits. Our study revealed that employees are far more likely to engage in a workplace wellness program like Start! if company executives promote it, which is underscored by securing the Start! Fit-Friendly designation from the American Heart Association."

The biggest obstacles preventing employees from getting enough physical activity are the time constraints and responsibilities of their jobs. The American Heart Association's answer to this is Start!, which aims to develop a corporate culture of physical activity by motivating employees to walk during their workday. Start! targets both individuals and companies and focuses on walking because it has the lowest dropout rate of any form of physical activity. The Association provides free toolkits to companies who want to implement a worksite walking program.

"Employees participating in wellness programs experience fewer sick days, improved quality of life and higher job satisfaction," said Dave Josserand, chairman of the American Heart Association and executive vice president and chief strategic officer of The Dalton Agency in Jacksonville, Fla. "Wellness programs will continue to play an important role in the health of Americans in years to come. The evidence that participating employees realize health benefits is key; research shows that businesses can save as much as $16 for every $1 they spend on health and wellness."

The list of 2008 Start! Fit-Friendly Companies and more information about the study conducted by Harris Interactive are available at The Oct. 27, 2008 issue of FORBES magazine will include a special advertising section that features all 2008 Start! Fit- Friendly Companies.

Companies interested in applying for recognition in the Start! Fit-Friendly Companies Program should contact their nearest American Heart Association office or download an application from the Web site. Applications are due in January for review by a volunteer expert panel.

Start! is sponsored nationally by SUBWAY(R) restaurants, Healthy Choice(R) and AstraZeneca.

SOURCE American Heart Association
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. American Heart Association Calls on Presidential Candidates to Adopt the Organizations New Principles on Healthcare Reform
2. Black Americans are at higher risk for colon polyps
3. Conscience Protections Essential to Healthcare System, Americans United for Life Argues in Comments Filed with HHS
4. The American Diabetes Association and Gloria Gaynor Invite New Yorkers to Step Out To Fight Diabetes on October 26th
5. Video: Influenza Vaccine Recommended for More Americans Than Ever Before
6. American Lung Association Joins Health Officials to Prevent the Spread of Influenza by Urging People to Get Vaccinated
7. First Two Non African-American Graduates of Meharry Medical College to Receive Awards at 2008 Fall Convocation
8. American Beverage Association Statement on Caffeinated Energy Drinks
9. This October, Bring Home a Shelter Dog for American Humanes Adopt-A-Dog Month(R)
10. Americans Urged to Support American Red Cross Disaster Relief Efforts for Hurricanes of 2008
11. Popular Denver Divas Host to Manage the New American Laser Centers Clinic in Arvada
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... On November 10, 2015, Bohrer ... Court of Connecticut on behalf of a home health care worker who provided companionship ... former home health care workers employed by Humana, Inc., Humana at Home, Inc., and ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , ... November 25, 2015 , ... Dental professionals who ... Cleveland, OH , are invited to attend Dr. Mark Iacobelli’s Advanced Implant Mentoring (AIM) ... in Cleveland, OH. , As the co-founders of Advanced Implant Mentoring (AIM), Dr. ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... , ... On November 23rd 2015 Cozy Products, a division of ... Cozy Products explains what this means for business moving forward. , The Tri Lite ... business model: to sell personal heaters that reduce energy consumption, are economical and keep ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Brillianteen, McGaw YMCA’s student-produced musical show, will ... Anniversary Brillianteen Revue, scheduled for March 4-6, 2016. Auditions for this final production ... been a treasured tradition for numerous families in the Evanston community. Over the ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ST. LOUIS, Missouri (PRWEB) , ... November 25, ... ... with Project HEAL, will provide scholarships for people struggling with eating disorders as ... Proceeds from the second annual event, held at Fox Run Golf Club ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... DUBLIN , November 26, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... the addition of the "2016 Future ... Drugs of Abuse Testing Market: Supplier Shares, ... report to their offering. --> ... of the "2016 Future Horizons and ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... 26, 2015 ... of the  "2016 Future Horizons and ... Drug Monitoring (TDM) Market: Supplier Shares, ... Opportunities"  report to their offering.  ... the addition of the  "2016 Future ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , Nov. 26, 2015 Research and ... of the "2016 Future Horizons and Growth ... Market: Supplier Shares, Country Segment Forecasts, Competitive Intelligence, ... --> --> ... of the Italian therapeutic drug monitoring market, including ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: