Thursday, October 30, 2008

ARTICLE - What makes a corporate wellness program successful?

In the general population you have approximately 20% of people who believe in exercise enough to do it on a regular basis. There are about 20% more who, even though they know the risks, are committed to avoiding exercise and probably never will.

There is a target of opportunity for fitness professionals of the remaining 60% so the question then becomes; what can we do to motivate this 60%?

The reality is that many of them have not yet found a convenient or enjoyable way to get their exercise. This is where employers come in. Employers who have conducted health risk assessments find that 40% of employees are in the medium and high risk groups which directly affects their productivity, creativity and sick time usage. Those in the low risk group, without change, tend to move into the medium and high risk groups over time.

Many wellness professionals want to change the world and move all their employees to the low risk group and are therefore doomed to fail. The rule here is to not let the things you cannot control, control the things you can. Even a small change in employee behaviour can have significant impact to your organizations competitiveness. Multiply the small change by the number of employees and then by time and the impact can be significant. The impact may be to slow the progress of those in the low risk group today from moving into the medium risk group.

Return on investment for corporate wellness initiatives can be staggering. Coors Brewing reported a return of $6.15 for every $1 spent and Citibank reported $4.52. The average of all companies surveyed was $4.30. That's a significant return.

So what kind of wellness initiative brings such large returns. Firstly, you cannot change everyone or everything. Programs should focus on the factors that can be easily affected. Programs should be activity based, simple, fun, private and rewarding. Add community involvement and you add another aspect to your program and your company's image.

In employee surveys 52% said they would participate in a program for a reward worth $150. The participation rate without incentives is 13%.

Often wellness programs try to measure the outcome of a program which is difficult and many employees view it as intrusive. What is more easily measured is adherence and through adherence will come results. We all know that the healthier the habits of a person, the better the results. If people exercise they will get healthier.

If your organization can provide opportunities to it's employees to live healthier and encourage them to grab the opportunities, you will see results like those mentioned above.


For more information about how your organization can realize the benefits of a Trail Running program, please contact or visit


About The Author

Tony Denford is a certified personal trainer and owner or Hit the Road. He has been training primarily runners since 2002 and has worked with beginners all the way to Boston Qualifier Marathon runners.

Tony emphasizes balance and variety in his training methods and always tries to make sure his client’s fitness routines are fun as well as beneficial.

Visit for more details on Hit The Road’s programs and services.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Corporate Wellness - Trail Running Program

Hit The Road Running's Trail Running Program is designed for organizations with a core of active runners who want team building opportunities and enhanced stress relief for their employees.

Ongoing trail running classes and one-time trail expeditions can be arranged off-site to encourage your employees to take a break and get back to the great outdoors.

The ongoing classes are offered within, or very close to, the city of Toronto where there is a wide range of off road trails available. Trail expeditions are offered in and out of town and can be used as active retreats for your employees and can also include other services offered by Hit The Road and our partners such as Yoga or Nutritional Counselling.

The Trail Running program is perfect for intermediate to advanced runners who are looking for some variety and covers topics such as;

Trail Running Technique,
Bush safety,
Navigation and,
Trail First Aid.

These programs are available to both Corporations and Large Active Lifestyle Clubs or Organizations.

For more information about how your organization can realize the benefits of a Trail Running program, please contact or visit

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

UPDATE - What's going on at Hit The Road.

What's interesting to me is that during times of economic slowdown there are some great opportunities to increase your business efficiency that company after company seems to realize.

At Hit The Road, our Corporate Wellness programs are picking up a lot of attention. Company executives are well aware of the great ROI from Corporate Wellness initiatives and are beginning to realize the relative low cost of start up. Hit The Road is in a great position to help organizations realize the efficiencies of a healthier, more productive workforce.

It's also time for a lot of our Fall running programs to start. Fall is one of the best times of the year to run. It's way more comfortable than summer and gives you a jump start and energy boost you need to face the upcoming holiday season. With all those party's coming up, wouldn't you want to look your best?

Click here for a list of services we provide or to sign up.