Bay Area Employers Tout Health Benefits of Walking
San Ramon-based Chevron is among a growing number of employers that promote walking programs for their employees as a way to encourage weight loss and fitness and to reduce health costs, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
Chevron two years ago began offering free pedometers to employees who took on the goal of walking 10,000 steps daily. The "10k-a-day" program has driven 40% of the company's 22,000 U.S. employees to use the pedometers. The participants have logged a total of 407,000 miles and lost an average of four pounds.
Although the walking programs are intended to reduce health care costs, Chevron has not tried to estimate its potential savings from the program, the Chronicle reports.
Michael Cryer, senior consultant with Hewitt Associates, said that financial benefits from these types of programs typically do not materialize for years.
Other Bay Area employers that have established a walking program include:
- Cisco Systems;
- Kaiser Foundation Health Plan;
- SRI International; and
- UC-Berkeley (DeBare, San Francisco Chronicle, 8/14).