Press release from the American Heart Association:
American Heart Association names Start! Fit-Friendly Companies in Indiana
Worksite wellness programs help lower healthcare costs, improve employees’ health
(December 2, 2010) – The American Heart Association recognized 18 Indiana companies as Start! Fit-Friendly Companies for promoting physical activity and health in the workplace.
The association also released a policy statement in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association that shows worksite wellness programs are proven to prevent the major modifiable risk factors for cardiovascular disease. These include smoking, overweight, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.
Nationally, the association recognized more than 1,200 companies in 2010. More than 2 million employees participated in the programs.
Start! Fit-Friendly Companies reach Gold level status by implementing various activities and programs to encourage physical activity, nutrition and culture enhancements such as on-site walking routes, healthy food choices in cafeterias and vending machines, annual employee health risk assessments and online tracking tools. Companies that achieve Platinum recognition â€” the highest tier â€” take the program a step further by measuring the outcomes of their wellness efforts.
Indiana companies designated as Start! Fit-Friendly include:
- Gold Omron Healthcare Inc. Bannokburn
- Gold St Francis Hospital and Health Centers Beech Grove
- Platinum City of Bloomington, City Hall Bloomington
- Platinum SIHO Columbus
- Gold IPFW Fort Wayne
- Gold Hobart Family YMCA Hobart
- Platinum Square D by Schneider Electric Huntington
- Gold AAR Aircraft Services Indianapolis
- Gold Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership Indianapolis
- Platinum Unifrax New Carlisle
- Platinum Square D by Schneider Electric Peru
- Platinum Brightpoint Plainfield
- Gold Trane/Ingersoll Rand Rushville
- Gold Indiana University School of Medicine South Bend
- Gold South Bend Medical Foundation South Bend
- Gold Terre Haute Regional Hospital Terre Haute
- Platinum Union Hospital Terre Haute
- Gold MED Institute, Inc. West Lafayette
Companies can save up to $15 for every $1 spent on health and wellness within 12 to18 months of implementing a worksite wellness program. Each employee who works to lower their risk status saves their company an estimated $53 per year; these savings remain each year that employee maintains the low-risk level.
“Companies that promote worksite wellness are achieving higher levels of productivity, reducing turnover, and some are even reducing healthcare costs,” said Wendy King, American Heart Association.
The American Heart Association also champions worksite wellness programs in its healthcare reform efforts, supporting an amendment that will be offered in a U.S. House Energy and Commerce bill to provide grants for qualified workplace wellness programs.
To view the complete list of the 2010 Start! Fit-Friendly Companies, or to apply for recognition, visit startwalkingnow.org or https://ffc.heart.org. The deadline to apply for the next awards is January 31, 2011.
Start! is sponsored nationally by SUBWAYÂ® restaurants and locally by PHP and Parkview Health.