Westin Employers and Employees Benefit From Wellness Programs During Tough Economic Times

Lancaster, California, UNITED STATES


New Data Shows Wellness Programs Help Retain Employees Leading Hotel Chain Offers Ways to Wellness to Help Cope With Holiday Stress

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., Dec. 12, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- It's no secret that these tough economic times cause stress and strain on all of us.  But the challenging times also add stress to those on the job as well—causing employees to develop unhealthy habits. In fact, according to the recent Thomson Reuters Workforce Wellness Index the unhealthy behaviors of the U.S. workforce cost employers an average of $670 per employee annually.  And given the current unemployment statistics, employers are focused now more than ever on keeping their employees healthy on the job.

Industry experts say that workplace health promotion programs reduce medical costs, result in fewer missed work days, and enhance productivity.  This is even more relevant for people-oriented businesses such as the hospitality industry where happy employees translate into happy guests, especially during the holiday season.

Employers are finding wellness works:

•  Achieving better overall health is the top reason American workers (43%) report they participate (or would participate) in a wellness program, according to the latest Principal Financial Well-Being Index.

•  Nearly half (48%) of workers surveyed said that wellness benefits encourage them to stay in their current employment situation and 43% said that wellness benefits motivate them to work harder and perform better.

With the stress of the holiday season upon us, companies are revving up their response. For example Westin Hotels just announced an Associate Enrichment program for all associates to help inspire overall well-being both in and out of the workplace—especially during the peak holiday season. Borrowing on the hotel's guest experience Program, Westin will provide associates with access to the same innovative programs provided to guests including:

•  WestinWORKOUT - Westin realizes fitness is a key component to overall well-being and is now offering pre and post shift stretching programs and onsite workouts. Housekeepers who are on their feet all day, will also be outfitted with specially designed New Balance athletic shoes with arch support and shock absorption to wear during their shifts.

•  SuperFoodsRX - Employee cafeterias will now feature healthy menu items featuring Superfoods to encourage healthy eating

•  Breathe - Inspired by the brand's Breathe program and environmental sustainability efforts, each hotel will introduce a variety of new practices to improve overall air quality by reviewing existing procedures and identifying new areas of opportunity.

To learn more about this innovative program and to download multimedia assets, please click on this link:

http://www.forummedia.us/westin

Assets to support this story include:

•  Soundbites with Carin Gorrell, Health/Nutrition Editor, SELF Magazine discussing the importance of workplace wellness programs.

•  Soundbites with Emelia Egyeiwaa, Room Attendant, The Westin New York at Times Square offering her first-hand experience about the

benefits of the program.

•  Frank Tujague, Executive Chef, The Westin New York at Times Square discussing the importance of incorporating healthy Superfood options on the associate menus.

Video assets include:

•  B-roll from associate rally to launch the Associate Enrichment Program

•  B-roll of Emelia Egyeiwaa wearing her New Balance sneakers while turning down a room

•  B-roll of associates Executive Chef Frank Tujague preparing super food dishes

•  B-roll of morning stretching class

Story Contact information:

Michele Wallace 917-741-5147

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