Statement as issued Thursday:
INDIANAPOLIS — The American Heart Association today recognized 31 Indiana companies as Fit-Friendly Companies for promoting physical activity and health in the workplace, including 14 recognized for the first time. Nationally, the association recognized 1,358 companies during this application cycle. More than 1,370 additional companies were recognized in the spring, including 30 in Indiana.
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 month as Fit-Friendly include:
Angie’s List, Indianapolis, Gold
Ball State University (New), Muncie, Gold
BrightPoint, Plainfield, Gold
Celadon Group (New), Indianapolis, Gold
Century 21 Executive Realty (New), Valparaiso, Gold
Citizens Energy Group (New), Indianapolis, Gold
City of Bloomington, Bloomington, Platinum
Community Health Network, Indianapolis, Platinum
DeKalb Health, Auburn, Gold
Delta Faucet Company (New), Indianapolis, Gold
General Electric-Fort Wayne Motors (New), Fort Wayne, Gold
Hobart Family YMCA, Hobart, Gold
Indiana Blood Center (New), Indianapolis, Gold
Indiana University Health West Hospital, Avon, Platinum
Indiana University School of Medicine, South Bend, Gold
Interactive Intelligence (New), Indianapolis, Gold
Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, Fort Wayne, Gold
IU Health La Porte Hospital (New), La Porte, Gold
MED Institute ,West Lafayette, Gold
Neace Lukens (New), Indianapolis, Gold
Schneider Electric, Peru, Platinum
Schneider Electric, Huntington, Platinum
South Bend Medical Foundation, South Bend, Gold
St. Francis Hospital and Health Centers, Indianapolis, Gold
Terre Haute Regional Hospital, Terre Haute, Platinum
The Republic (New), Columbus, Gold
Tobias Insurance Group (New), Indianapolis, Gold
Unifrax, New Carlisle, Platinum
Union Hospital, Terre Haute, Platinum
Wishard Health Services (New), Indianapolis, Gold
Witham Health Services (New), Lebanon, 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 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.
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.
The Fit-Friendly program is sponsored nationally by Subway Restaurants.