American Water (NYSE: AWK), the largest publicly traded U.S. water and wastewater utility company, announced today it has been recognized as a Platinum-Level Fit-Friendly Worksite by the American Heart Association for helping employees eat better and move more.
“We are honored and excited to be recognized among so many great wellness programs in our nation by the American Heart Association as a Platinum-Level Fit-Friendly Worksite,” said Peg Fenner-Gulledge, Health & Wellness Manager at American Water. “Earning this recognition for the second consecutive year is a testament to our invested focus on physical activity and employee wellness and we will continue to encourage both safety and good health at American Water.”
- 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.
The Fit-Friendly Worksites program is a catalyst for positive change in the American workforce by helping worksites make their employees’ health and wellness a priority.American Water has been recognized for its employee health and wellness program, Healthy Solutions. The program includes access to a dedicated website, on which employees and their families can participate in a free, confidential health assessment, as well as get tools and tips about health, fitness, stress management and weight management. The program offers an annual biometric screening, scheduled wellness challenges throughout the year, and access to customized healthy living coaching programs including personal health coaches, as well as financial incentives and other rewards to employees for participation. At the end of three years, 56 percent of employees are engaged in the program. In addition, an increased number of family members are participating and eligible to receive prizes. According to the American Heart Association, 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.