SKF’s success with its pilot physical activity program with validated results prompts roll out to all U.S. and Canada locations.


San Antonio, TX, (PRWEB) March 23, 2011 – After a highly successful pilot program, SKF USA Inc., a global supplier of bearings, seals, mechatronics, lubrication systems and services, and Walkingspree, a leading technology-driven prevention focused wellness company, are expanding the program to over 40 locations in the U.S. and Canada.


The goal was simple, said Raymond L. Eames III, Director of Benefits for SKF USA Inc. “Initiate a wellness program to help our employees be more active and feel healthier, as many studies have shown that a sedentary lifestyle can lead to health related problems, including diabetes, cholesterol, high blood pressure and heart disease.”


Improving the health and education of our employees is one of our core values,” said Eames. “We wanted to show our employees that we care about them and their well being. Offering this Walkingspree program made a lot of sense to us. It was easy for everyone to participate and walking has the lowest dropout rate of any exercise regimen.


The two companies started working together in September 2010, when Walkingspree developed a custom solution for SKF’s three-month pilot program at four locations.


The results from that program were astounding:


• 48 percent participation of eligible employees within the four locations, which is significant considering 37 percent of the total eligible were union employees.
• 82 percent earned free pedometers by reaching the program goal of 455,000 steps during the program.
• Overall, participants averaged 7,971 steps per day, and of those:
• 24 percent averaged more than 10,000 steps.
• 74 percent averaged more than 6,000 steps.
• 66 percent of those indicating they were sedentary before starting the program shifted to being active.


Results from the participant survey were also remarkable:


• 60 percent said they felt healthier.
• 65 percent said they had more energy.
• 78 percent said morale toward the company increased.
• Over 72 percent said pedometer walking has become a permanent lifestyle change.
• Over 80 percent said the program increased camaraderie with fellow employees.
• Over 98 percent said they would recommend the walking program to friends and family.


SKF and Walkingspree also included a custom marketing program to enroll union employees and eligible spouses.


We didn’t want to exclude any of our employees from a wellness program and to our surprise, we had more union employees participate than we thought would” said Eames. “In addition, even though our program only provided prizes to employees, we had 246 spouses participate which far exceeded our expectations.


“Including spouses really boosts excitement,” said Lisa Rousseau, Vice President of Client Service at Walkingspree. “It provides a built-in social support system and enhances engagement. SKF recognized this and built it into their program.”


Features included a USB-pedometer for accurate tracking, competitions among the participating plants plus a series of virtual walk challenges, including a walk from Miami to the Florida Keys and along California’s Pacific Coast Highway.


The new challenge for SKF employees and spouses will be to walk a million steps during the course of 200 days. Along with the health benefits of lower blood pressure, cholesterol levels and weight loss, employees could walk away with a jazzy tech toy or up to $2,500 cash. SKF will also make $6,000 worth of donations to local charities for the Top 5 SKF USA Inc. locations that have the highest step average or show the most step improvement.


About Walkingspree

Walkingspree is a specialized corporate wellness provider whose expertise is to deliver a technology-driven prevention focused activity program for health insurers and corporate clients. Through customized online wellness portals and programs, clients receive measurable results and engage participants in a feature rich community. The company’s program – based on a USB pedometer to track validated steps, an active social media network, and interactive food and body trackers – typically delivers more than 50 percent employee participation and year-over-year member retention. Results are healthier employees and a positive return on investment for clients. Walkingspree programs have been implemented in major health insurers, insurance brokers, Fortune 500 companies, small to medium businesses and non-profit organizations such as hospitals and schools. They also provide a wellness offering for the general public.
For more information, please contact:
Hiran Perera, CEO for Walkingspree. Tel +210 767 2436


About SKF

SKF is a leading global supplier of bearings, seals, mechatronics, lubrication systems and services which include technical support, maintenance and reliability services, engineering consulting and training. SKF is represented in more than 130 countries and has 15,000 distributor locations worldwide. Annual sales in 2010 were SEK 61,029 million (~$9.4 billion) and the number of employees was 44,742.