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From Research to Practice: Healthfitness, Eastman Chemical Company Case Study Demonstrates Real-World Health Gains and Productivity Savings
Date:1/24/2008

CEO Gregg Lehman enumerates steps towards 21st century health benefit design in Jan. 30 audioconference

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn., Jan. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- A 21st century approach to health benefit design is already reaping improved employee health and productivity, according to a new HealthFitness (OTC BB: HFIT) issue brief and upcoming audioconference featuring the company's president and CEO. HealthFitness is a leading provider of employee health management programs. Managing more than 400 fitness centers globally, the company also offers a suite of health management services on-site, Web-based and telephonically.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20070830/HFLOGO )

An integrated approach to health benefits with a focus on prevention and lifestyle factors can move the needle towards lower corporate health care costs. A 2007 study fielded by the National Business Group on Health in partnership with Watson Wyatt Worldwide found that companies with the most effective health and productivity programs see superior financial returns and productivity improvements. (1)

HealthFitness is announcing a new issue brief spotlighting that approach. "Applying 21st Century Benefit Design: A Culture of Health in Action," features HealthFitness President and CEO Gregg O. Lehman, Ph.D. and David Sensibaugh, director of Integrated Health at Eastman Chemical Company. Sensibaugh relates the positive outcomes from Eastman's use of an integrated health management approach. The Kingsport, Tenn.-based manufacturer of chemicals, fibers and plastics employs some 9,000 employees at four U.S. locations and provides health benefits for an additional 7,000 retirees. The issue brief is available free of charge at http://www.hfit.com/briefs.cfm.

Outcomes figures from the study show impressive results. A comparison of employees who participated in Eastman's Healthy Steps program with non-participants showed that these employees:

Lowered their BMI 6 percent more;

-- Lowered high blood pressure rates 9.7 percent more;

-- Lowered cholesterol 13.4 percent more;

-- Had 14 percent higher job satisfaction; and

-- Reported 34 percent higher on productivity measures.

Lehman will outline the key steps to creating a culture of health that engages both the C-suite and employees during a 90-minute audioconference Jan. 30, "Creating a Culture of Health and Moving Toward the 21st Century Benefit Plan Design," hosted by Workplace HR & Safety. This new corporate culture of health seeks to manage short-term and long-term costs by targeting younger workers with poor health habits and lifestyle choices, heading off potential chronic health issues that will negatively impact baby boomers, and anticipating the needs of an aging workforce. To register for the audioconference go to http://www.workplacemagazine.com/Audio/hc/Audio419.asp.

During the audioconference, Lehman will outline:

-- Elements of 21st century benefit plan design;

-- Winning strategies to engage the C-suite and employees to promote better health; and

-- Assessing ROI resulting from a culture of health.

"The value of investment in employee health is not just about reducing health care costs, but also about increased productivity and reduced absenteeism," Lehman said. "It's about engaging employees with accountability and long-term health education strategies they can incorporate into their daily lives for years to come."

For further reading see issue briefs, "Applying 21st Century Benefit Design: A Culture of Health in Action," http://www.hfit.com/briefs.cfm

And

"Out with the Old, In with the New: A Vision for 21st Century Health Benefit Design," http://www.hfit.com/briefs.cfm

About HealthFitness

HealthFitness is a leading provider of employee health improvement services to Fortune 500 companies, the health care industry and individual consumers. Serving clients for more than 30 years, HealthFitness partners with employers to effectively manage their health care and productivity costs by improving individual health and well-being. HealthFitness serves more than 300 clients globally via on-site management and remotely via Web and telephonic services. HealthFitness provides a complete portfolio of health and fitness management solutions including a proprietary health risk assessment platform, screenings, EMPOWERED(TM) Health Coaching and delivery of health improvement programs. HealthFitness employs more than 3,000 health and fitness professionals in national and international locations who are committed to the company's mission of "improving the health and well-being of the people we serve." For more information on HealthFitness, visit http://www.hfit.com.

(1) "Building an Effective Health & Productivity Framework," 2007-2008 Staying@Work Report, Watson Wyatt World Wide and the National Business Group on Health, online at http://www.watsonwyatt.com/research/deliverpdf.asp?catalog=2007-US-0216&id= x.pdf.


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