SOURCE: Virgin HealthMiles

Virgin HealthMiles

March 05, 2012 09:36 ET

Fourth Annual National Employee Wellness Month Scheduled for June 2012

Virgin HealthMiles, STOP Obesity Alliance, Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease and WorldatWork Invite Corporate America to Join Month-Long Initiative and Share the Health

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - Mar 5, 2012) - Out-of-control healthcare costs and an unhealthy workforce put an unsustainable strain on business productivity and profitability. And employees feel it, too, paying more out of their pockets for higher premiums. The good news? We can actually do something about it. Seventy-five percent of healthcare costs today are driven by often preventable and highly manageable chronic diseases, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some forms of cancer. Today, Virgin HealthMiles, the Strategies to Overcome and Prevent (STOP) Obesity Alliance, the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease and WorldatWork announced the fourth annual National Employee Wellness Month, which will take place this June.

Closing the gap between a business' desire for a culture of good health and actually achieving one is essential to making a sustainable impact on workforce health and business performance. A recent Buck Consultants' survey found only 10 percent of U.S. respondents felt they'd fully achieved a culture of health in their organizations, while 85 percent intend to pursue one.

National Employee Wellness Month is an annual initiative that provides business leaders with fresh ideas and proven strategies around prevention and wellness. It offers a hands-on look at how supportive social communities, like the workplace, can help to improve employee health and productivity, lower healthcare costs, and help organizations create a positive culture of health. A WorldatWork study found that 38 percent of employers have seen desired changes in employee behavior as a result of their organizations' efforts to involve employees in health and wellness programs.

Through a collective rallying call, the initiative's four sponsors invite corporate America to participate in this month-long workplace wellness campaign to help showcase the power of prevention and social connections in creating and fostering a healthy workplace. U.S.-based companies and organizations can participate in this year's National Employee Wellness Month by becoming a Proud Supporter of the initiative. Throughout June, participating companies will promote the benefits of healthy lifestyles, and provide motivation and opportunities for employees to increase their daily physical activity and engage in other healthy lifestyle behaviors.

Learn more about how to become a Proud Supporter of National Employee Wellness Month at http://www.nationalemployeewellnessmonth.com/proud-supporters. More information and resources about workplace wellness and National Employee Wellness Month can be found at: www.nationalemployeewellnessmonth.com.

About Virgin HealthMiles
Virgin HealthMiles, part of Sir Richard Branson's famed Virgin Group, provides programs and technologies that engage your workforce in good health. We offer a range of solutions and program integration capabilities that help employers drive higher awareness and engagement, and better measurement and insight into the impact of all your employee health investments. Our Pay-for-Prevention™ programs, based on physical activity and healthy lifestyle change, attract an average of 50 percent of employees who participate, which helps organizations reduce medical costs and improve employee productivity and satisfaction. Over 130 industry leaders representing more than 700,000 employees across the U.S. have selected Virgin HealthMiles' award-winning programs for their employees. For more information, visit www.virginhealthmiles.com.

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