The American Heart Association (AHA) recently recognized Regence, a health insurer in the Northwest, as a Start! Fit-Friendly Company, according to a Regence press release. Regence won kudos for its "snack attack” program in which employees trade in junk food for healthy snacks like fruit and nuts. (Wellness officers patrol the cubicles for poor food choices.)
Other winning wellness initiatives range from inspiring to plain out zany:
- AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals kept a treadmill running from 6:30 in the morning to 5:00 in the evening by signing up employees for 15-minute intervals. AstraZeneca has been offering employees health risk assessments since 2005. Last year, almost 99% of all employees participated in wellness programming.
- King County, Washington, County Executive Ron Sims puts his money where his mouth is. Sims lost 49 pounds after flubbing a personal wellness assessment. Now his employees are following suit: 90% of county employees take part in a county wellness program, and 59% rank in the lowest risk category for developing chronic health conditions.
- GTSI, a government IT solutions company in Chantilly, Virginia, has saved 30% on employee hospitalization costs since implementing a wellness program. CEO Jim Leto says the savings are the result of the education the 700 employees receive on healthy lifestyles and healthcare management tools.