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Programs have impressive participation
Metabolic syndrome targeted
Weight management and other components of metabolic syndrome are the target of many wellness programs at Warrenville, IL-based Navistar.
"We have telephonic coaching, online modules, and disease management programs that focus on multiple areas including hypertension and diabetes," says Dan Pikelny, MA, MBA, director of health and productivity.
Each year, Navistar's employees fill out a health risk appraisal, which includes questions on metabolic syndrome. Participants are connected with programs to help manage their risk factors. Dawn Weddle, the company's wellness and behavioral health manager, says, "Our third-party providers for disease management and health assessment contact employees who meet certain risk criteria to enroll them in behavior change programming."
An "opt out" model is used, with all employees who meet risk criteria automatically enrolled in disease management interventions. Paper-based educational materials are used for those at lower risk, and telephonic consultations are used for those at highest risk.
"High-risk employees are also contacted by our health assessment vendor to enroll in telephonic health coaching," says Weddle.
Here are three of Navistar's metabolic syndrome programs:
• Spring Tune-Up. "Participation in this six-week nutrition-based behavior change program has shown substantial growth since it was first launched in 2002," Weddle reports. Employees earn points for eating healthy and engaging in physical activity. More than 2,000 employees now participate, which represents 21% of the eligible population. "Due to the current economic climate, we have reduced the incentives for this year's program," notes Weddle. However, in the past all employees who achieved 2,000 points were put in a grand prize drawing to attend a NASCAR event, including transportation and hotel accommodations.
• Trucking Across North America (TANA)."This 13-week team-based exercise competition celebrated its 15th anniversary in 2008," says Weddle. Teams of five to 10 employees earn "mileage" from exercise, recreational, wellness, and volunteer activities. "TANA has become part of our corporate culture and has realized year-after-year participation growth." In 2008, this program attracted more than 4,000 employees, representing 30% of the eligible population. For signing up, employees receive a free workout DVD. At the end of the program, employees are given a water bottle, and members of the winning team receive a $50 American Express gift card.
• Body Overhaul. In January 2009, this 12-week weight loss competition was introduced as a pilot program at two facilities, with 21% and 26% participation respectively. Incentives, such as a lunch bag, water bottle, or T-shirt, will be provided for sustaining the weight lost during the program.
"Plans are in place for our Body Overhaul teams to weigh in at the three- and six-month post-program marks," says Weddle.