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Company encourages its employees to get 'Active' in fitness, philanthropy

Health and wellness is ingrained in the corporate fabric of The Active Network. As a company that provides technology solutions, marketing services and online media properties that enable and encourage participation in activities and events, Active not only provides external services to promote a fit planet, but has long been a company that encourages its own employees to pursue an active, healthy lifestyle.

ActiveX exercise program

In November 2007, an Active employee organized an informal and optional boot camp workout for fellow employees. Employees began to meet three times a week before, during and after work to get in a quick sweat. The workouts became a great way for employees to stay healthy and connected, and encouraged teamwork within the office.

The workouts soon expanded into a formalized program open to all employees known as ActiveX. ActiveX offers a variety of workouts for all fitness levels and was cited as one of the company's most popular benefits in Active's 2008 employee survey. What began with eight people has now grown to more than 200 employees who regularly participate in ActiveX, with each workout attracting an average of 25-40 participants. Recently, the company also began offering yoga classes as a lunchtime option.

Employee tools and resources

Active also encourages employee fitness outside the company. The company's Web site is a popular destination for people looking to participate in activities and events. All Active employees receive discounts on featured races as well as free online training plans that range from completing a 5K run/walk to finishing a half Ironman competition. Each Monday, employees inspire others by sharing their weekend sports activities on the Active.com community board.

Corporate challenge

Active has also successfully tied health and wellness to good causes. For the last two years, employees have participated in Active's annual Corporate Challenge, an endurance training and fundraising program that encourages competition across departments and promotes physical activity as well as philanthropy. In July 2008, 80 employees took part in Active's Corporate Challenge and competed in the Solana Beach Triathlon. More than 90 percent of employees were first-time triathletes, and raised more than $60,000 for the Monarch School in San Diego, which provides homeless and at-risk youth with education and enrichment programs while caring for their basic needs.

Due to the fitness and fundraising success of the Corporate Challenge in 2008, The Active Network has expanded the program to all offices throughout the United States and abroad. To ensure the program's success, Active formed a Wellness and Giving Committee to spearhead this companywide wellness initiative. The committee, comprised of over 20 volunteer employees, helped organize endurance training and fundraising teams for each location. To encourage involvement, Active employees receive an interactive online training plan, Active team apparel, $50 to use toward race entry, a personalized fundraising page, support from a registered dietician, expert nutrition and training tips, weekly motivational e-mails and team events including training clinics, kick-off parties and race day events.

This year, eight of The Active Network's offices have selected an athletic event and nonprofit partner to support and will be training together to prepare for the event. In the last three years combined, the San Diego office alone has raised more than $122,000 for the Monarch School.

ActiveX and the Corporate Challenge have resulted in improved teamwork companywide, support of local charities and a positive team atmosphere that encourages employees of all athletic abilities to reach new fitness goals.

Industry involvement

Active executives flew to Washington, D.C., for this year's National Health Through Fitness Day. The purpose of the trip, organized by the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association, was to have face-to-face discussions with members of Congress about the importance of federal funding for quality physical education and increasing physical activity for families by making it more accessible and affordable. Active management, along with other organizations and professional athletes, participated in more than 80 meetings with U.S. senators and representatives, plus an additional 32 meetings with key Congressional staff members.

Submitted by The Active Network.

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1 UserComments
Judy Olmstead Fuston 7:25pm November 18, 2009

Great idea. Who came up with it?