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Walk to Wellness

Gold Standard  Employer: Amgen

Walk to Wellness

Each spring, Amgen organizes a global walking competition called Walk to Wellness in which complimentary pedometers are provided to all participants. To keep staff motivated throughout the eight weeks, each participating site is encouraged to create a walking map for their site and to hold weekly group walks. For example, at Amgen headquarters in Thousand Oaks, California, weekly walks are held each Wednesday to encourage staff to get away from the office for an hour, walk, enjoy music, and learn about Amgen initiatives. Local wellness vendors offer educational booths and the on-site dining services offer healthy lunch options that meet the Wellness at Amgen criteria (less than 600 calories, less than 25 grams total fat, less than 5 grams of saturated fat and natural trans-fat combined, and less than 600 mg sodium). Monthly lunchtime walks have now become standard practice at Amgen.

Amgen distributes physical activity education information to motivate and encourage employees in a variety of ways throughout the year:

•    Educational emails are sent to Walk to Wellness participants providing up-to-date details on the program and information about local wellness events and happenings. 
•    To ensure wellness programming is run cohesively at all sites, wellness newsletters are distributed monthly to several sites without a fitness center.
•    Field staff receive regular communications which include upcoming wellness and fitness program offerings. 
•    An intranet wellness page provides easy to find fitness, nutrition, and wellness programming information. The wellness page also includes a weekly blog with current events and tips to educate staff. 
•    On the global intranet homepage, announcements are posted for upcoming events and marquee wellness programs (e.g., Walk to Wellness). An area is dedicated as the “Wellness Spotlight” highlighting Amgen staff success stories. Additionally, articles are written by Wellness Ambassadors, internal medical and allied health professionals, on various topics including, but not limited to, cholesterol, heart disease, the benefits of exercise, and eating right