Dozens Dubbed 'Fit-Friendly Companies'

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Nearly 50 Indiana businesses have been named to a national list recognizing work place wellness efforts. The American Heart Association's "Fit-Friendly Companies" are selected for participating in annual employee health risk assessment programs and encouraging physical activity and better nutrition. February 13, 2014

News Release

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - The American Heart Association today recognized 47 Indiana companies as Fit-Friendly Companies for promoting physical activity and health in the workplace, including 22 recognized for the first time. Nationally, the association recognized 1,802 companies during this application cycle.

The Fit-Friendly Companies program is a catalyst for positive change in the American workforce by helping companies make their employees' health and wellness a priority. The Fit-Friendly Companies 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.

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.

Indiana companies designated this cycle as Fit-Friendly include:

Angie’s List Indianapolis Gold

Apex Benefits Group (New) Indianapolis Gold

Ball State University Muncie Gold

Celadon Group Indianapolis Platinum

Citizens Energy Group Indianapolis Platinum

City of Franklin (New) Franklin Gold

Community Health Network Indianapolis Platinum

CSN (New) Terre Haute Gold

Deaconess Health System Evansville Platinum

DeKalb Health Auburn Gold

Delta Faucet Company Indianapolis Gold

DuBois Wood Products (New) Huntingburg Gold

Evansville Vanderburgh School Corp. (New) Evansville Gold

General Electric-Fort Wayne Power Conversion Fort Wayne Gold

Hobart Family YMCA Hobart Gold

Horseshoe Southern Indiana (New) Elizabeth Gold

Indiana Blood Center Indianapolis Platinum

Indiana University Health West Hospital Avon Platinum

Ingram Micro Mobility (New) Plainfield Gold

Interactive Intelligence Indianapolis Gold

IU Health La Porte Hospital La Porte Gold

Ivy Tech Community College (New) Evansville Gold

Jasper Rubber Products (New) Jasper Gold

Jay County Hospital (New) Portland Gold

MED Institute West Lafayette Gold

Memorial Hospital and Health Care Center (New) Jasper Gold

Monarch Beverage (New) Indianapolis Gold

Mulzer Crushed Stone (New) Tell City Gold

Neace Lukens Indianapolis Gold

OFS Brands (New) Huntingburg Gold

Saint Meinrad Archabbey (New) St. Meinrad Gold

Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics (New) Mishawaka Gold

Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics (New) Elkhart Gold

South Bend Medical Foundation South Bend Gold

St. Francis Hospital and Health Centers Indianapolis Platinum

St. Mary’s (New) Evansville Gold

Terre Haute Regional Hospital Terre Haute Gold

Tobias Insurance Group Indianapolis Gold

Toyota Motor Manufacturing (New) Princeton Platinum

Unifrax New Carlisle Platinum

Union Hospital Terre Haute Platinum

University of Southern Indiana (New) Evansville Gold

Vectren Evansville Platinum

Welborn Baptist Foundation (New) Evansville Gold

Wishard-Eskenazi Health Indianapolis Gold

Witham Health Services Lebanon Platinum

YMCA of Southwestern Indiana (New) Evansville Platinum

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 - the highest tier - take the program a step further by measuring the outcomes of their wellness efforts.

According to the American Heart Association, companies can save up to $15 for every $1 spent on health and wellness within 12 to 18 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.

American employers are losing an estimated $225.8 billion a year because of healthcare 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.

For more information about the Fit-Friendly Companies program and how it is helping to improve the health of Americans by focusing on an activity that is convenient, free and easy, visit www.startwalkingnow.org.

Source: American Heart Association Midwest Affiliate