Virgin HealthMiles, the STOP Obesity Alliance and the Institute for Health and Productivity Management Promote Employee Wellness During Second Annual National Employee Wellness Month

Workplace Wellness Advocates and Leading Organizations Across U.S. Tout Benefits of a Healthy Workforce During June Initiative

Framingham, Massachusetts, UNITED STATES

BOSTON, MA, and WASHINGTON, DC and PHOENIX, AZ--(Marketwire - May 11, 2010) -  In June, Virgin HealthMiles, in partnership with the Strategies to Overcome and Prevent (STOP) Obesity Alliance and the Institute for Health and Productivity Management, will sponsor the second annual National Employee Wellness Month to raise public awareness about the critical role employers play in workplace wellness and how preventive, healthy employee behavior can help to improve health and combat our nation's rising healthcare costs. 

Even as healthcare reform is implemented, forward-looking businesses have recognized they must play a leadership role in implementing immediate and innovative measures to help curb spiraling healthcare costs. Businesses continue to bear the brunt of healthcare cost increases, which will be an unsustainable trend if left unchecked. A report from the Kaiser Family Foundation shows U.S. businesses are absorbing 70-80 percent of annual health care cost increases, which continue to rise nearly 10 percent per annum. National Employee Wellness Month promotes corporate America's role in serving as critical change-agents in helping employees lead healthier, more physically active lives. 

With a full three quarters of our nation's $1.5 trillion healthcare costs stemming from preventable, lifestyle-driven chronic conditions, taking steps to create a healthier workforce will have a direct impact in lowering overall healthcare costs. In fact, a 2008 survey by the STOP Obesity Alliance and the National Opinion Research Center found that employers and employees agree the workplace is an appropriate environment for supporting weight loss efforts and helping curb the toll of preventable chronic diseases.

Already, more than 80 leading organizations across the U.S. have pledged their support to National Employee Wellness Month, including Ace Mart, American Diabetes Association, American Society of Bariatric Physicians, American Society of Diabetes Educators, Best One Tire, Bexar County, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, Catholic HealthCare West (CHW), Children's Health System, City of Corpus Christi, City of New Braunfels , Commonwealth of Kentucky, Dow Chemical Company, East China School District, Edgewood Independent School District, First Horizon National Corporation, Frontier Oil El Dorado, Frost Insurance Wellness Group, Fyda Freightliner, Harlandale Independent School District, Hillerich & Bradsby, Hosparus, Icon Health & Fitness, Integra Bank, Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan, Iris International, Jack in the Box, Johnson Brothers Bakery, , Maidenform, Manatee Choice Health Plan, Mercy Health System, Michael Best & Friedrich, Midwestern University, MWV, Northside Independent School District, NW Natural, Obesity Action Coalition, Ochsner Health System, OhioHealth, Papa John's International, Protective Life, Rush-Copley Medical Center, Saint-Gobain Containers, School District of Menomonie Area, Security Service Federal Credit Union, Shands Jacksonville Medical Center, Simplot, South San Antonio Independent School District, Spectrum Athletic Clubs, SunTrust, Taste of Home Healthy Cooking magazine, Visant, YMCA of Greater Louisville and WLS Lifestyles Magazine

For more information about National Employee Wellness Month, visit or contact Kathy Wilson at or 781-652-0499.

About Virgin HealthMiles, the STOP Obesity Alliance and the Institute for Health and Productivity Management

Virgin HealthMiles is an industry leading provider of employee health and activity programs that pay people to get active. Its award-winning, Pay-for-Prevention™ approach, based on physical activity and healthy lifestyle change, attracts an average of 40 percent of employees who participate in the program regularly, which helps organizations reduce medical costs and improve employee productivity and satisfaction.

The Strategies to Overcome and Prevent (STOP) Obesity Alliance is a collaboration of consumer, provider, government, labor, business, health insurers and quality-of-care organizations united to drive innovative and practical strategies that combat obesity. The Strategies to Overcome and Prevent (STOP) Obesity Alliance receives funding from founding sponsor, sanofi-aventis U.S. LLC, and supporting sponsors, Allergan, Inc. and Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

The Institute for Health and Productivity Management (IHPM) is a global research and development enterprise devoted to establishing the value of health in the workplace as a human capital investment that improves business performance. IHPM holds conferences around the world, conducts Academies, publishes a quarterly magazine and a peer-reviewed journal, and conducts field projects -- including several on obesity and related cardio-metabolic health risks. It works with all the stakeholders -- employers and their employees, health service providers, health plans, pharmaceutical manufacturers and governments -- to advance health and productivity management as a strategy for economic competitiveness. 

Contact Information:

Media Contact:
Kathy Wilson

P: 781-652-0499