Vermont Employee Wellness Program Challenges Local Businesses

by: Nichole Gunn November 23, 2010

Businesses are taking the employee wellness program research seriously by taking steps to initiate an employee incentive program in their companies. Hospitals are getting on board and noting the benefits of encouraging better employee health, and even the Pentagon has initiated employee incentive and wellness programs.

Another company to take advantage of the benefits of encouraging employee health and fitness is The Rutland County Physical Activity Coalition in Vermont. It sponsored the “October Walkabout Challenge.”

According to the Times Argus newspaper, the challenge focused on a competition between local businesses. Winners of the competition were “based on the company with the greatest proportion of employees who participate and the most miles walked.”

The coordinator of the program, Jen Coleman told the paper, "Worksite wellness programs help support employees trying to attain a healthy balance, and walking is an easy way for individuals to get exercise.” Coleman added that October makes a great month for walking, with the cool weather and colorful trees. "We’re encouraging Rutland County businesses to participate in the challenge to promote health and wellness among their employees, but sometimes friendly competition can make things more interesting."

As mentioned above, the Pentagon’s Defense Department has also initiated wellness programs for its employees. In its “Leap Into Fall” program its five million employees were encouraged to exercise 30 minutes a day for five days a week throughout the 10 week challenge. This program involved participants from around the world.