SOURCE: WalkStyles

January 22, 2008 13:10 ET

WalkStyles, Inc. Offers Flexible Employee Wellness Programs to Help Companies Save Money, Increase Productivity

Walking for Wellness Helps Cut Health Insurance Costs, Decrease Absenteeism

LAGUNA HILLS, CA--(Marketwire - January 22, 2008) - With the rising costs of healthcare and decreased employee productivity plaguing employers, WalkStyles, Inc., a lifestyle company dedicated to wellness through walking, offers solutions to healthier workplaces in 2008: the WalkStyles' employee wellness programs.

"I'd like to see companies start paying for actual healthcare, not sick care," said Sue Parks, founder and CEO of WalkStyles. "We have it backwards today, and we need to turn it around."

Developed around a walking lifestyle for better health and wellness, the WalkStyles' programs focus on preventive healthcare, an issue of importance with most employers. Seventy percent of illnesses in the U.S. today are due to lifestyle-related causes including physical inactivity and the vast majority of prescription drugs go towards induced preventable illnesses.

"Since our employee wellness team members were all former corporate executives, we understand the importance of workplace wellness, and develop programs that deliver results," said Parks. The WalkStyles programs are flexible enough for any size or type of company that has made a goal of creating a healthier and happier workforce -- and would enjoy the extra bonus of saving money on health insurance premiums.

The focus of the WalkStyles' wellness programs is to teach employees how to meet their step goals on a daily basis, whether by striving to make walking a natural part of their day, since it is already done on a daily basis, or through other fitness activities that can be converted into steps. Employees can use the convenient online fitness tracking tools at WalkStyles 3.0 (www.walkstyles.com), to log steps, distance and calorie expenditure. The Web site also offers easy-to-use charts, including a step converter chart, and interactive features, to encourage and reward more active lifestyles and provide employees with an opportunity to stay motivated and reach their goals.

"The results from implementing a WalkStyles corporate wellness program can be astounding," said Parks, who has walked at least 10,000 steps (equivalent to 5 miles) every day for the past 12 years. "Employers cannot afford to ignore the vast benefits of promoting a healthier workplace for their employees. WalkStyles is here to lead this change 'every step of the way.'"

WalkStyles works closely with company wellness leaders to create friendly contests or incentive plans that keep employees enthusiastic about achieving health-related goals. The WalkStyles team forms a partnership with the company to assist in fine-tuning programs to fit the needs of the individuals and the employer.

WalkStyles suggests to companies a 90-day implementation time period to ensure compliance with HIPAA/ADA guidelines, identify wellness committee members, begin wellness communications, and other factors to setting up a program. It is recommended that companies try the corporate wellness program for at least one year to see measurable results. Programs are designed for companies and organizations of any size.

About WalkStyles

WalkStyles, Inc., headquartered in Laguna Hills, Calif., is a leading designer and marketer of products and services for people who wish to live a healthy, balanced lifestyle that includes walking, and companies concerned about the wellness of employees. WalkStyles 3.0 (www.walkstyles.com) is a complete personal wellness system that offers free online tools for tracking fitness goals. It also serves as a free social networking site connecting individuals and walking clubs throughout the country to form walking clubs, communicate on health topics, monitor their own progress and gain a wide array of information on healthy lifestyles. The WalkStyles WeWhoWalk Tour is currently visiting all 50 U.S. state capitals to promote a message of wellness through walking. Additional WalkStyles' services and products include multiple corporate wellness programs; the DashTrak pedometer; and WalkStyles WalkWear. For more information, visit www.walkstyles.com.

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