Fittest Execs of Milwaukee, a Well City USA

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Southeastern Wisconsin companies continue to embrace corporate wellness programs as executives look for ways to battle the rising cost of health care. Since its inception in 1985, the Wellness Council of Wisconsin has worked to engage employers across the state in promoting wellness at their organization. More than 400 companies have joined the discussion and pledged their support of corporate wellness.

On March 18, the City of Milwaukee achieved a Well City USA designation from the Wellness Councils of America (WELCOA). The three-year effort to receive the designation was led by Well City Milwaukee, a workplace wellness coalition formed in conjunction with the City of Milwaukee, the Greater Milwaukee Committee and the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC).

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According to Janet McMahon, executive director of Well City Milwaukee, Milwaukee was the tenth, and the largest, city in the United States to achieve Well City status. Thirty-four area companies helped Milwaukee achieve its Well City status, including Actuant Corp., Manpower Inc., Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc. and Wisconsin Energy Corp.

The Fittest Execs challenge, presented by BizTimes Media, seeks to further foster the corporate wellness efforts in the community. Fittest Execs challenges executives and staff members through individual and team competitions. This year more than 100 executives accepted the challenge and participated in the individual fitness competition. Participants competed in different categories: Male 25-39, Male 40-49, Male Over 50, Female 25-39, Female 40-49, Female Over 50 and Most Improved (from 2009 participants).

To encourage employee participants across the entire organization, BizTimes Media added a team competition consisting of four team members from various levels of the organization that achieve a composite team score. All Fittest Execs competition participants took part in a five-part fitness assessment. Participants received complimentary health risk appraisal and blood work by Midland Health and complimentary fitness assessment and consultation by the Wisconsin Athletic Club.

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For the second year, companies were encouraged to nominate their organization for the Corporate Wellness Award. All winners from the program will be announced at the Fittest Execs Forum and Awards event on Thursday, Aug. 19, from 4-7 p.m. at the Harley-Davidson Museum, 400 W. Canal St., Milwaukee.The event will also feature a wellness panel including leaders from area companies who will share their personal fitness stories and talk about rising health care costs, federal health care reform and how to engage employees in healthy lifestyles both at home and at work.

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