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American Heart Association Announces Start! Fit-Friendly Companies
Date:9/25/2008

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 http://www.heart.org/start. 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 Hear
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SOURCE American Heart Association
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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