American Water Recognized as an American Heart Association Fit-Friendly Worksite

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American Water Recognized as an American Heart Association Fit-Friendly Worksite

Worksites take steps to decrease healthcare expenses, increase productivity


VOORHEES, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- American Water (NYS: 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.

"Physical activity and employee wellness are important priorities at American Water. We are honored and excited to be recognized by the American Heart Association as a Platinum-Level Fit-Friendly Worksite," said Peg Fenner-Gulledge, Health & Wellness Manager at American Water. "We're committed to providing the best workplace environment possible. This will benefit our employees' health and produce even more positive results for our worksite overall."

Platinum-level employers:

  • 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 launched its official health and wellness program, Healthy Solutions, to employees nationwide in July 2010. 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.

The first year engagement rate was 55 percent, while during year two, 68 percent of employees were engaged in the program. In addition, an increased number of family members are participating and eligible to receive prizes.

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.

For more information about the Fit-Friendly Worksites program and how it is helping to improve the health of Americans by focusing on an activity that is convenient, free and easy, visit startwalkingnow.org.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke - America's No. 1 and No. 4 killers. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation's oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or join us, call 1-800-AHA-USA1 or any of our offices around the country, or visit heart.org.

About American Water

Founded in 1886, American Water is the largest publicly traded U.S. water and wastewater utility company. With headquarters in Voorhees, N.J., the company employs approximately 6,700 dedicated professionals who provide drinking water, wastewater and other related services to an estimated 14 million people in more than 30 states, as well as parts of Canada. More information can be found by visiting www.amwater.com.

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American Water
Denise Venuti Free
External Communications Manager
856-309-4690
denise.free@amwater.com

KEYWORDS:   United States  North America  New Jersey

INDUSTRY KEYWORDS:

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