FRAMINGHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Virgin HealthMiles, Inc., the market leader in the rapidly growing corporate wellness category, today announced it’s now enabling employers to extend their workplace wellness programs to employees’ families and friends for free. Research shows social contacts play a significant role in an individual’s health and wellness. Enlisting an employee’s social influences and support network helps them make healthy long-term behavior changes that lead to more fulfilling, engaged lives. Virgin HealthMiles is the first and only provider to offer its service to up to three family members and/or friends on its basic product free of charge.
Studies indicate people are more likely to change a health habit like exercise, nutrition or smoking when a spouse or friend supports them. What’s more, a recent study by Mercer and the Health Enhancement Research Organization (HERO) found adding spouses to workplace wellness programs doubled employee participation rates. Increasingly, employers are showing employees they care by offering programs to help them make healthy changes across all aspects of their lives – physical, social, financial and emotional health – and many are including employees’ families and friends as part of the mix. With Virgin HealthMiles’ Daily Engagement Platform™, employers now have an easy, effective way to tap into the highly influential, motivational and emotional boost that family and friends provide individuals as they make healthy behavior changes –ultimately improving their overall engagement both on-the-job and off.
Ascend Performance Materials, a Virgin HealthMiles customer, recently refined its company wellness program and opened it up to spouses of employees. “We wanted to do something that wasn’t ‘business as usual’ and it was hard to ignore all of the statistics that showed how much more engaged people become in a wellness program when they have a family member or friend to participate with them,” said Michael Martin, Total Wellness Director at Ascend Performance Materials. “The response has been overwhelmingly positive with an 83 percent overall enrollment rate in the program and 52 percent of our members and 45 percent of spouses in the active or highly active category. With every wellness program that we offer today, we go out of our way to make sure that spouses are eligible to participate and receive incentives – as we have seen the impact it’s had on employee engagement and productivity.”
Beginning in October, Virgin HealthMiles customers will be able to extend their corporate wellness programs and include up to three family members and/or friends per employee on Virgin’s basic product. Together, employees and their families and friends will be able to participate in health and wellness games and challenges, track health data and work as a team to achieve healthier lifestyles while earning rewards, prizes, and cash back, among other benefits. Virgin HealthMiles provides effective programs people love: 85 percent of members say that Virgin HealthMiles has changed their lives, 57 percent of members feel that offering Virgin HealthMiles programs to its employees makes their companies a better place to work, and 21 percent of members say they’ve taken fewer sick days since participating in a Virgin HealthMiles program.
“Seventy percent of U.S. workers admit to being disengaged and it’s costing U.S. companies $300 billion annually in lost productivity. Lots of factors contribute to this disengagement crisis, but it boils down to the fact that people don’t feel like their companies care about them,” said Chris Boyce, CEO of Virgin HealthMiles. “To have a highly engaged workforce, employers must support employees across all aspects of their lives and that includes caring about the people who matter most to them – their families and friends. Families and friends provide employees with a critical support system who’ll help them make healthy changes that last. Including them as part of their corporate wellness programs will have huge impact on employee engagement and help employers create high-performing companies.”
To learn more about Virgin HealthMiles, please visit http://www.virginhealthmiles.com.
ABOUT VIRGIN HEALTHMILES
Virgin HealthMiles, part of Sir Richard Branson’s famed Virgin Group, is the industry’s top performing health engagement platform. With our Total Quality of Life approach, we help employers support employees across all aspects of their lives and create great places to work. Using the latest in social, gaming, and rewards technologies with our Daily Engagement Platform™, Virgin HealthMiles gets more people to change their behavior in meaningful ways for longer periods of time than any other company. More than 200 industry leaders representing 1,000,000+ employees have selected Virgin HealthMiles’ award-winning programs for their workplace. True to our Virgin roots, we don’t just play the game. We change it for good. Learn more at www.virginhealthmiles.com.