SOURCE: Con-way Freight

Con-way Freight

October 01, 2009 17:08 ET

Con-way Freight Recognized as an American Heart Association Start! Fit-Friendly Company

Start! Helps Companies Take Steps to Decrease Healthcare Expenses, Increase Productivity

ANN ARBOR, MI--(Marketwire - October 1, 2009) - Con-way Freight, a less-than-truckload (LTL) freight carrier and subsidiary of Con-way Inc. (NYSE: CNW), has been recognized as a Platinum-Level Start! Fit-Friendly Company by the American Heart Association's Start! movement for helping employees eat better and improve physical activity.

"Formalized employee wellness programs that engage employees in physical activity to promote better health are important priorities at Con-way Freight. We are honored and excited to be recognized by the American Heart Association's Start! movement as a Platinum-Level Start! Fit-Friendly Company," said John G. Labrie, president, Con-way Freight. "We're committed to providing the best workplace environment possible. This will benefit our employees' health and produce even more positive results for our company overall."

Platinum-level employers:

--  Offer employees physical activity options in the workplace
--  Increase healthy eating options at the worksite
--  Promote a wellness culture in the workplace
--  Implement at least nine criteria outlined by the American Heart
    Association in the areas of physical activity, nutrition and culture
--  Demonstrate measurable outcomes related to workplace wellness
    

Among its many initiatives to promote the health and well-being of its employees, Con-way Freight contracted with Wellness Coaches USA in 2004 to design and develop an employee wellness program, which it has customized to its operations nationwide. Since the formal launch, the company has seen tremendous success. Specifically, for the period between Sept. 1, 2008 to Aug. 31, 2009, results include:

--  More than 2,400 employees losing approximately 25,000 pounds
--  83 percent of employees having an interaction with Wellness Coaches
--  More than 200 employees quitting smoking
--  1,900 employees with improved blood pressure readings (out of the
    nearly 5,000 employees who had their blood pressure taken)
--  The percentage of employees increasing weekly exercise climbed
    approximately 59 percent
--  Employees attending a combined total of 104,000 one-on-one coaching
    sessions
    

The Start! 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.

American employers face increasing healthcare expenses and health-related losses in productivity that cost an estimated $225.8 billion a year. Many American adults spend most of their waking hours at sedentary jobs. Their lack of 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. Start! helps change corporate cultures by motivating employees to start walking, which has the lowest dropout rate of any physical activity.

Recognition is a critical component of the Start! Fit-Friendly Companies Program. Employers that join this program qualify for official recognition by the American Heart Association. They are listed on the program's national website, as well as featured at local Start! special events. Qualifying companies also have the right to use the program's annual recognition seal for internal communications and with external, recruitment-related communications.

Participating companies also get free access to program resources such as the free Start! Walking Program, materials to help promote company wellness programs to employees, internal newsletter templates and consultation on CPR/AED (automated external defibrillator) programs.

Start! also offers MyStart! Online, a free web-based fitness and nutrition tracker for companies and individuals. A "dashboard" feature lets HR or wellness managers view employee participation in Start!

"The Start! 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," said Heather Kinder, executive director for the American Heart Association, Midwest Affiliate.

"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 individuals could gain two hours of life expectancy for every hour of regular, vigorous exercise they performed."

Start! is sponsored nationally by SUBWAY® Restaurants, Healthy Choice® and AstraZeneca, along with Aetna of Michigan. For more information about the Start! 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, call 248-936-5771 or visit startwalkingnow.org.

Follow Con-way Freight on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Con_way_.

Con-way images are available at www.con-way.com/en/about_con_way/newsroom.

About Con-way Freight

Con-way Freight is the industry's leading less-than-truckload (LTL) freight transportation company, providing guaranteed, day-definite regional and transcontinental service through a single, unified network of more than 300 service centers in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico. Based in Ann Arbor, Mich., Con-way Freight offers LTL freight delivery across North America, as well as delivery in the United States for international less-than-container (LCL) ocean shipments from Asia through its OceanGuaranteed® service; and expedited U.S. delivery for inbound international cargoes from Europe through an exclusive alliance with TNT. Con-way Freight is a certified FAST highway carrier and is ISO 9001- and 14001-, C-TPAT/PIP, ACE- and CSA-certified.

Con-way Freight is a subsidiary of Con-way Inc. (NYSE: CNW), a $5 billion diversified freight transportation and logistics services company. For more information, visit https://www.con-way.com/en/freight.

About the American Heart Association

Founded in 1924, we're the nation's oldest and largest voluntary health organization dedicated to building healthier lives, free of heart disease and stroke. To help prevent, treat and defeat these diseases -- America's No. 1 and No. 3 killers -- we fund cutting-edge research, conduct lifesaving public and professional educational programs, and advocate to protect public health. To learn more or join us in helping all Americans, call 1-800-AHA-USA1 or visit americanheart.org.

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