SOURCE: Burnham Benefits Insurance Services

Burnham Benefits Insurance Services

August 29, 2012 15:01 ET

Burnham Benefits Pioneers Employee-Wellness Program Using Cutting-Edge Audio-Based Fitness Coaching and Training Tool

The Award-Winning Employee Benefits Consulting Firm Has Exclusive Rights to Market PEAR Technology and Its World-Class Coaching for Use in Personalized Employee-Wellness Programs

IRVINE, CA--(Marketwire - Aug 29, 2012) - Burnham Benefits Insurance Services, one of the largest employee benefits brokerages in Southern California and one of the few to specialize solely in strategic employee benefits consulting and brokerage services, has been selected by PEAR Sports as their exclusive partner offering fitness-based employee wellness programs in California and across the United States using the patented PEAR Training Intelligence platforms. Through PEAR's Square One and Mobile products, employees experience an audio-based fitness coaching, training and results tracking system. PEAR provides hundreds of personalized and recommended training plans and workouts designed by a team of world-class coaches. 

PEAR products include a wireless heart-rate sensor, foot pod and sport earphones that work together to deliver real-time audio coaching and on-demand audio stats based on how the body is responding to the workout. It also infuses users' favorite music seamlessly into the coaching cues. Users begin with an assessment workout prior to starting a specific plan. The assessment phase reads data on heart rate zones during a moderate 20-minute workout and then calibrates the system to choose appropriate workouts.

"The PEAR system is ideal for employee wellness programs because it's so simple to use and completely adaptable for employees at every fitness level," says Kristen Allison, President of Burnham Benefits, who incorporated the exciting technology into her company's own wellness program before rolling it out to clients . "The coaching and instant feedback are informative and motivating, and the device tracks and monitors performance and health data so users can see just how much they're progressing toward any health goal. It's ideal for motivating employees involved in any number of fitness and wellness programs. Employers know that effective wellness programs can make an enormous positive impact both in employees' lives as well on the bottom line by improving attendance, boosting productivity and reducing health insurance claims."

The PEAR Training Intelligence platform gives each program member access to expert coaching 24 hours a day. Employers committed to cutting-edge solutions can bundle online set-up, implementation and support, a basic reporting package and an initial overview from the Burnham Benefits and PEAR teams.

Gadgets have taken over day-to-day life, which makes PEAR a fitness solution that really drives engagement. It's an easy answer for the growing number of employers asking for solutions that increase participation and focus on physical activity. Because it's customized for the user's fitness level, employers can ensure that their wellness programs aren't pushing employees too hard, but rather encouraging increased and highly effective physical activity.

The new technology is especially well-suited to fitness challenges like Burnham Benefits/Burnham Gibson's PEAR Sport Fitness and Wellness Challenge. The 16-week program placed the two companies' wellness programs in competition with one another, with the winner being the employee who earned the most points based on frequency of workouts, diversity of workouts and workout intensity. The 20 employees who participated for the duration of the program lost a total of 197 pounds, burned 827,529 calories and decreased average BMI from 27.1 to 25.34. The winner received a five-night Maui vacation, including round-trip airfare and a catamaran cruise. The fitness challenge helped gather additional benchmarking data and served as a prototype for additional fitness challenges designed to support clients' wellness programs.

"If you have someone in your ear encouraging you and keeping you accountable, it keeps you motivated," says Catherine Seitz, a 43-year-old mother of four who lost 45 pounds during the Challenge. "With other programs, everyone tries to have a good start, but you tend to say you'll do it later and after a few weeks you start to procrastinate. PEAR is a constant reminder to stay engaged. When I don't have it, I miss it."

According to the 2011 Willis Health and Productivity Survey, an overwhelming number of employers cite improvement of employee participation and engagement as a top goal for their wellness programs. Only 17 percent say they offer comprehensive wellness programs -- a fact that's likely affected by budgets that are unable to accommodate anything more than very basic offerings. The PEAR wellness program is another example of the innovative ways that Burnham Benefits strives to provide employers with effective and affordable employee-benefit programs.

To learn more about the Burnham Benefits PEAR Wellness Plan for your business, call 949-833-2983 or visit http://www.burnhambenefits.com/benefits/pear-sports.html for more information.

PEAR SPORTS: Based in Solana Beach, Calif., Pear Sports is the developer of Training Intelligence, a patented technology that is delivered exclusively through Pear Square One and Pear Mobile products. Pear is a smart biofeedback training system that uses a wireless heart-rate monitor and foot pod to measure the body's response to a workout and delivers real-time coaching to keep users on track with fitness goals. Pear formulates individual training plans designed by a team of world-class coaches based on the user's age, gender, fitness level, aspirations and the latest training science. Interactive audio coaching focuses users on their goals and motivates them to stay on track. On-demand workout statistics include heart rate, pace, cadence, time, distance and calories burned. For more information about Pear Sports and the Pear Square One and Mobile products visit pearsports.com.

ABOUT BURNHAM BENEFITS INSURANCE SERVICES:
Based in Irvine, Calif., Burnham Benefits Insurance Services Inc., is one of the largest employee benefits brokerages in Southern California and one of the few to specialize solely in employee benefits insurance. Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego employers trust Burnham to understand the unique challenges of the Southern California market. Kristen Allison, President of Burnham Benefits and a 30-year industry veteran, acquired the firm in 1995 from John Burnham Insurance Services, an Orange County mainstay for more than 50 years. Boasting the in-depth industry knowledge and Fortune 500 resources of a large firm, Burnham Benefits prides itself on retaining the flexibility, creativity and consultative service of a boutique. After steady growth of 20 percent annually for the past 10 years, the company serves more than 300 corporate clients throughout the United States and manages more than $500 million in premiums. Working with its colleagues at Burnham Gibson Financial Group, and having the added expertise of in-house underwriters, compliance officers and communications specialists, Burnham Benefits provides an integrated approach to managing a client's full spectrum of employee benefits. Named Best Place to Work by the Orange County Business Journal in 2011, the company has three offices in California: Irvine, Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, as well as offices in Oregon and the Washington D.C. metro area. For more information, visit www.BurnhamBenefits.com.

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