Tuesday October 16, 2007
Mayor Jerry Abramson, along with Humana executives, today announced the success of a new city program designed to encourage employees to be healthier and more active.
The program, called HealthMiles, is part of the Mayor’s Healthy Hometown Movement and part of a long-term effort to create a healthier city government, Abramson said.
“We want our employees to embrace healthy living, which is difficult when you’re dealing with the constraints of work and family,” Abramson said. “This program makes it simple, by encouraging folks to take extra steps throughout the day - whether it’s walking to lunch or parking at the back of the parking lot when making a run to the supermarket. Those extra steps really add up and make a difference.”
Offered through a partnership between Humana and Virgin Life Care, the HealthMiles program was adopted by Louisville Metro Government in June. Soon after, employees signed up to participate in the program. The program works by giving employees incentives for physical activity when they meet specific activity levels. Employees report their progress three ways:
· A GoZone pedometer that records steps
· HealthZone kiosk, which employees use to monitor blood pressure, weight and body fat.
· Personalized LifeZone website where employees can set fitness goals, track progress and upload GoZone steps and HealthZone readings.
When employees reach a certain activity level, they earn rewards from Virgin Life Care in the form of gift certificates to major retailers. Abramson said the program has been a success for the city with more than 1,660 employees currently participating.
As part of the program, the city launched a month-long competition in August where eight-member employee teams competed for the highest “mileage” or amount of steps. At the end of the challenge participants had logged more than 91 million steps, totaling more than 45,000 miles.
“The total number of miles our city employees logged during the month of August means they walked almost twice around the world or made 30 trips to New York City and back,” Abramson said. “Our HealthMiles Challenge really captured the attention of our employees, and generated great creativity and camaraderie throughout the workforce.”
Metro Government first heard about the program through Louisville-based Humana, which also encourages its employees to participate. Humana began its partnership with Virgin Life Care last year and decided to promote the program to a large group of its customers.
“The city’s commitment to this program demonstrates why Louisville has become a model for other U.S. communities when it comes to getting its employees – and its citizens – walking more every day, and getting more physically fit,” said Jeff Bringardner, president of Kentucky Market Operations for Humana.