WASHINGTON (May 9, 2007) – The National Business Group on Health, a national non-profit organization, today recognized more than three dozen U.S. employers for their continuing efforts to promote healthy work environments and encourage workers to live healthier lifestyles. The third annual Best Employers for Healthy Lifestyles awards were presented today at the Leadership Summit sponsored by the Business Group’s Institute on the Costs and Health Effects of Obesity.
“Wellness and lifestyle improvement programs are rapidly becoming a top priority at many large employers, and with good reason,” said Helen Darling, President of the Business Group.
“Employers are recognizing that there is a direct link between healthy and engaged workers, high productivity, and controlling rising health costs. That we are honoring over 50 percent more employers than when we launched this program is a clear indication that a growing number of employers are serious about helping workers and their families improve their health.”
Now in its third year, the Best Employers for Healthy Lifestyles awards acknowledge and reward those employers that have responded to the urgent need to improve their workers’ health, productivity and quality of life. The underlying goal of the program is to serve as a catalyst to encourage all employers to take action. This year’s winning companies offer a wide variety of wellness and lifestyle improvement programs including, but not limited to, onsite fitness and health clinics; weight-management, smoking cessation and tobacco cessation programs; health coaches; web-based health and fitness tools; financial incentives for participating in fitness programs and health risk assessments.
“What’s very exciting to see is the wide range of innovative programs and opportunities employers are offering their workers to create a healthy work environment,” said LuAnn Heinen, director of the Institute on the Costs and Health Effects of Obesity, which was launched in 2003 and created the awards program. “We are very pleased to honor these 41 companies for their leadership and forward-thinking approaches toward helping workers choose healthier lifestyles.”
Winners of the Best Employers for Healthy Lifestyles awards were honored in one of three categories: Platinum, for established “Healthy Weight, Healthy Lifestyles” programs with measurable success and documented outcomes; Gold, for creating cultural and environmental changes that support employees who are committed to long-term behavior changes; and Silver, for employers who have launched programs or services to promote living a healthier lifestyle.
The winners in each category include:
Baptist Health South Florida
Hannaford Brothers Company
Pitney Bowes Inc.
Principal Financial Group
Texas Instruments Incorporated
Union Pacific Railroad
Bath Iron Works, A General Dynamics Company
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Inc.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina
Campbell Soup Company
General Mills, Inc.
Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research
Pepsi Bottling Group
Volvo Group (including Mack Trucks, Inc.)
JC Penney Corporation, Inc.
PRO Sports Club
Sprint Nextel Corporation
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
A complete list of the winners and a brief description of their programs is available at www.businessgrouphealth.org.
About the National Business Group on Health
The National Business Group on Health is the nation’s only non-profit, membership organization of large employers devoted exclusively to finding innovative and forward-thinking solutions to their most important health care and related benefits issues. The Business Group identifies and shares best practices in health benefits, disability, health and productivity, related paid time off and work/life balance issues. Business Group members provide health coverage for more than 50 million U.S. workers, retirees and their families. For more information about the Business Group, visit www.businessgrouphealth.org