ZOLL Medical Corporation, a manufacturer of medical devices and related software solutions, has been recognized as a Platinum-Level company by the American Heart Association’s Start! Fit-Friendly initiative for helping employees eat better and move more. ZOLL’s increased emphasis on programs to improve employee health and wellness has elevated the company’s previous Gold-Level status to Platinum.
“Physical activity and employee wellness are important priorities at ZOLL. We are honored and excited to be recognized by the American Heart Association’s program as a Platinum-Level Start! Fit-Friendly Company,” said Richard A. Packer, Chief Executive Officer of ZOLL. “We’re committed to providing the best workplace environment possible. This will benefit our employees’ health and produce even more positive results for our company overall.”
• 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 wellness culture at ZOLL has taken many forms to encourage employees to lead more active and healthy lives. Enrollment in the exercise, yoga, and fitness programs, offered at a discount in the onsite gym, increased by 53 % from 2010, necessitating the addition of more classes. And the number of requests for gym badges is up over last year. ZOLL subsidizes the heart-healthy menu options offered daily in the cafeteria as well as the healthy choice vending machine, which offers such fare as yogurt, fruit, veggies, and water. A leading weight loss program holds weekly meetings onsite and is popular among employees. It’s also not unusual to see groups of employees making use of the marked 1-mile walking path on the ZOLL campus. In addition, ZOLL has instituted a smoke-free campus and offers smoking-cessation programs.
The Start! Fit-Friendly Companies Program is a catalyst for positive change in the American workforce to help companies make their employees’ health and wellness a priority.
American employers face increasing healthcare expenses and health-related losses in productivity that cost an estimated $225.8 billion a year. 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. Start! helps change corporate cultures by motivating employees to start walking, which has the lowest dropout rate of any physical activity.
“The Start! Fit-Friendly Companies Program offers a unique, easy-to-implement opportunity for corporations to increase employees’ physical activity, which will help improve their health – and their employers’ bottom line,” said Elizabeth Buell, Senior Director, Greater Boston Heart Walks. “Even people who haven’t exercised regularly until middle age can reap significant benefits by starting a walking program. A study published in 1986 in the New England Journal of Medicine found that some adults may gain two hours of life expectancy for every hour of regular, vigorous exercise they performed.1”
About ZOLL Medical Corporation
ZOLL Medical Corporation (zoll.com) develops and markets medical devices and related software solutions that help advance emergency care and save lives, while increasing clinical and operational efficiencies. With products for defibrillation and monitoring, circulation and CPR feedback, data management, fluid resuscitation, and therapeutic temperature management, ZOLL provides a comprehensive set of technologies that help clinicians, EMS and fire professionals, and lay rescuers treat victims needing resuscitation and critical care.
A NASDAQ Global Select company and a Forbes 100 Most Trustworthy Company for the past three years, ZOLL develops and manufactures its products in the United States, in California, Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island. More than 400 direct sales and service representatives, 1,100 business partners, and 200 independent representatives serve our customers in over 140 countries around the globe.
About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association (heart.org) is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – America’s No. 1 and No. 3 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.
1New England Journal of Medicine 1999 341;650-658. JoAnn E. Manson, M.D., Dr.P.H. et al., A Prospective Study of Walking as Compared with Vigorous Exercise in the Prevention of Coronary Heart Disease in Women