Schaumburg, IL (April 18, 2013) - Assurance has been recognized as a Platinum-Level Fit-Friendly Worksite by the American Heart Association for helping employees eat better and move more.
"Physical activity and employee wellness are important priorities at Assurance. We're honored and excited to be recognized by the American Heart Association as a Platinum-Level Fit-Friendly Worksite," said Lisa Pinion, senior vice president, Human Resources. "We're committed to providing the best workplace environment possible. This will benefit our employees' health and produce even more positive results for our worksite overall."
- Offer employees physical activity options in the workplace.
- Increase healthy eating options at the worksite.
- Promote a wellness culture in the workplace.
- Implement at least nine criteria outlined by the American Heart Association in the areas of physical activity, nutrition and culture.
- Demonstrate measurable outcomes related to workplace wellness.
Assurance has maintained a strong focus in the area of wellness internally and continually promotes its value to clients through their employee benefits division. With Assurance's Eye of the Tiger wellness program, implemented in 2005, employees can engage in over 60 company-sponsored wellness events each year, including a registered 5k. Other onsite wellness events consist of organized stair climbs, company Olympics, flag football, onsite personal training sessions and wellness screenings, among others. Demonstrated through a comprehensive case study, the Eye of the Tiger wellness program improved employee health and controlled escalating health care costs creating a 924% return on investment.
The Fit-Friendly Worksites program is a catalyst for positive change in the American workforce by helping worksites make their employees' health and wellness a priority.
American employers are losing an estimated $225.8 billion a year because of health care expenses and health-related losses in productivity, and those numbers are rising. Many American adults spend most of their waking hours at sedentary jobs. Their lack of regular physical activity raises their risk for a host of medical problems, such as obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes. Employers face $12.7 billion in annual medical expenses due to obesity alone. The American Heart Association is working to change corporate cultures by motivating employees to start walking, which has the lowest dropout rate of any physical activity.
Recognition is a critical component of the Fit-Friendly Worksites program. Employers that join this program qualify for official recognition by the American Heart Association. Qualifying worksites also have the right to use the program's annual recognition seal for internal communications and with external, recruitment-related communications.
"The Fit-Friendly Worksites Program offers a unique, easy-to-implement opportunity for corporations to increase employees' physical activity, which will help improve their health – and their employers' bottom line," said Kevin Harker, executive vice president, Midwest affiliate of the American Heart Association. He continued, "Even people who haven't exercised regularly until middle age can reap significant benefits by starting a walking program. A study published in 1986 in the New England Journal of Medicine found that some adults may gain two hours of life expectancy for every hour of regular, vigorous exercise they performed.”
For more information about the Fit-Friendly Worksites program and how it's helping to improve the health of Americans by focusing on an activity that is convenient, free and easy, visit startwalkingnow.org.
About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – America's No. 1 and No. 4 killers. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation's oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or join us, call 1-800-AHA-USA1 or any of our offices around the country, or visit heart.org.