American Heart Association releases “Fit Friendly” List

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