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‘Walking for Better Health’ Program Strides into Success

By Stephen Miller  12/9/2009
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Chattanooga, Tenn.-based Kenco, a provider of warehouse, transportation and order fulfillment services and a major area employer, is taking a victory lap for the success of its corporatewide wellness program “Walking for Better Health.”

On Oct. 12, 2009, Kenco opened the program to its 4,000 employees across the U.S., with a total of 920 participants from 60 different locations. Irma Valesquez, Kenco benefits supervisor, explained, “We have 920 Kenco employees enrolled in the ‘Walking for Better Health’ program, double what we expected. We are excited to see such high participation and hope that everyone achieves his or her goals." The two-month program includes pedometers and walking logs for every participant.

In a Dec. 2, 2009, announcement, Jim Kennedy III, Kenco’s chairman and owner, noted that at the company's primary location alone, “We have 178 Chattanooga participants, helping to bring the total to 264,141,004 steps walked. This equals approximately 132,070 miles or 5.39 times around the world. We’ve already exceeded our goal of five world laps—there’s simply no stopping us!"

Kennedy invited employees of all Kenco affiliates to think seriously about the company’s wellness initiatives. “We are firmly committed to helping everyone get into better shape, and have committed substantial human and financial resources, as well as facilities, to make this a winning program for everyone.”

Among its other wellness-promoting efforts, in 2009 the company launched a four-month "Boot Camp" pilot program at its Chattanooga location. Participants scheduled regular workout sessions led and monitored by professional trainers. Total weight loss, counting all 28 participants: 427 pounds (averaging over 15 pounds per participant).

Which is just one example that when top management and HR make getting fit an organizational priority and spread the spirit with some fun, workers will take up the challenge—to the benefit of themselves and their organizations.

Stephen Miller is an online editor/manager for SHRM.

Related Video: 

 Fitness on a Large Scale

Barbara Schaefer, senior vice president of HR at Union Pacific Corp., discusses the organization’s efforts to promote fitness among its widely distributed workforce.
•  View this video 

Related Articles:

Exercising Healthy Judgment, HR Magazine, May 2009

10 Steps for Wellness Program Success, SHRM Online Benefits Discipline, July 2009

Designing an Effective Wellness Program, Step by Step, SHRM Online Benefits Discipline, November 2007

Developing a Cutting-Edge Wellness Program, SHRM Online Benefits Discipline, July 2005 

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