Weston Distance Learning Corporate News
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Fort Collins, Colorado – September 15, 2008– At the Fort Collins Well City Initiative CEO & Business Leader Luncheon held July 31st, Weston Distance Learning, Inc., was among 25 local companies honored for actively promoting employee wellness in 2008. Luncheon sponsor CanDo, the city’s Coalition for Activity and Nutrition to Defeat Obesity, acknowledged Weston for enrolling more than 100 employees in its 12-week Lifestyle Challenge and for other efforts to get staff moving toward better health. Through its participation in CanDo’s city-wide effort to improve staff fitness, Weston may also eventually help Fort Collins reach its goal to earn national Well City status.
Wellness promotion became a formal part of Weston’s strategic vision last year. “At that point,” says Betsy Wheeler, Weston’s Human Resources Manager, “funds were allocated to develop a formal wellness program, and I set up an appointment with CanDo Coordinator Virginia Englert.” Through Englert, Wheeler learned of the Lifestyle Challenge program sponsored by Poudre Valley Health System (PVHS). The program focuses on helping people gradually lose weight and increase physical activity through habit change. Wheeler chose Lifestyle Challenge as Weston’s wellness program because it’s administered through PVHS, its effectiveness has already been tested and it’s set up in a way that a person can participate as part of a team or individually.
Through Lifestyle Challenge, many Weston employees spent the summer working on wellness. In early June and again at the end of August, a PVHS rep recorded participants’ body weight and blood pressure. Activity and nutrition tips were offered via weekly emails and one lunch ‘n learn session held each month. When the 12-week challenge came to an end, the 63 employees participating in the weight-loss challenge had lost a total of 94.5 pounds (average weight loss per person: 4.7 pounds) and the 70 employees participating in the physical activity challenge had logged a total of 5,213 hours (average weekly activity per person increased from 112 to 244 minutes).
In addition to the Lifestyle Challenge, Weston also backs volunteer efforts that offer a chance to be physically active. In June, 14 employees walked a track all night long as part of a Relay For Life team that raised $6,000 for the American Cancer Society. In July, eight Weston workers spent a Saturday helping build a Habitat for Humanity house. And in August, a 10-member Weston team participated in the Partners SuperStar Sports Challenge, which raised funds to support Larimer County youth.
Through its CanDo participation, Weston is working toward becoming a Well Workplace. Well Workplace status is granted by the national Wellness Council of America (WELCOA). In 2005, Fort Collins announced its intention to seek WELCOA’s Well City status by reaching a goal of having 20% of all workers in the city employed at Well Workplaces. If Weston becomes a Well Workplace (by continuing to back staff wellness), its staff will rank in that 20% and boost the Well City effort.
Weston Distance Learning, Inc. (Fort Collins, Colorado) is the parent company overseeing operations of three distance education schools: At-Home Professions, McKinley College and U.S. Career Institute. The schools enroll students throughout the country. Weston courses prepare students to work in more than 25 fields that offer solid job prospects and earning potential. Currently, Weston is launching a new distance education course every few months. Its state approval is issued by the Colorado Department of Education’s Division of Private Occupational Schools. Each course is accredited through the nationally recognized Distance Education and Training Council. To learn more about Weston Distance Learning, visit http://www.westondistancelearning.com.
For more information or to schedule an interview with Ann Rohr, please call marketing director Kevin White at (800) 347-7899 or email Kevin at KevinW@westondistancelearning.com.
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